An old saw goes that America's greatest gift to the world was jazz. One of the most creative recipients of this gift has been Italy, who has produced artists like Massimo Urbani, Giovanni Tommaso, Enrico Rava, Mario Schiano, Fabio Morgera, and Enrico Pieranunzi. Added to this distinguished list is the young trumpeter, Giovanni Falzone, whose approach and style is as refreshing and intoxicating as sangria.
If music may be considered discourse, then on one end we would have Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz (Atlantic, 1960), which could be considered the musical equivalent of civil unrest. On the other end, we might consider Giovanni Falzone's Meeting in Paris as a full-bodied Italian Wedding, complete with all of the laughter, love, talk, and teasing that accompanies such occasions.
The opening "Rotation sounds like a clever conversation between Falzone's plunger-muted trumpet and Robin Verheyen's saxophone over a four-note bass motif. "Three for One is more of a standard hard bop piece that could have been a Lee Morgan-Wayne Shorter vehicle before it ascends into John Zorn territory.
"Veggente is a throbbing off-time groove that again enables the front instruments to have a compelling conversation that borders on human speech without descending into novelty. Falzone is a fearless improviser and composer, creating harmonies, melodies, and rhythms that expand the perimeter of progressive acoustic jazz. Verheyen plays a mean post-Michael Brecker tenor saxophone (having learned much from that master).
Falzone's rhythm section is crack. Pianist Bruno Angelini, bassist Mauro Gargano, and drummer Luc Isenmann steer a course of disciplined chaos, providing the front instruments the tracks on which to ply their considerable chops. Meeting in Paris is what we listeners would hope 21st Century jazz would sound like.
Personnel: Giovanni Falzone: trumpet; Robin Verheyen: saxophones; Bruno Angelini: piano; Mauro Gargano: bass; Luc Isenmann: drums.