French alto saxophonist Geraldine Laurent is a fiery improviser who invokes the uninhibited character of horn titans like Jackie McLean and Ornette Coleman. For her recording debut, Time Out Trio
, the young Parisian is joined by bassist Yoni Zelnik and drummer Laurent Bataille. The session is a progressive mix of standards, modern jazz classics, and original material.
The opening "Autumn Nocturne" displays an artist of creative conviction who phrases like a seasoned veteran. Laurent's biting tone and aggressive posturing brings to mind Sonny Rollins and all the liberties that the legendary reedman took with a piano-less trio.
Laurent proves herself unconstrained on a ballad like "I Fall In Love Too Easily" where her ideas flow freely, flirting with double-time, yet never losing sight of the tune's lyrical starting point. By contrast, Ornette Coleman's "Rejoicing" is a blistering workout that shows off the saxophonist's bebop foundation.
Zelnik and Bataille provide a solid foundation and more. Intuitively in step all the way through, the bassist and drummer swing hard and create intensity by pushing the boundaries of conventional time-keeping. The tempo-stretching on Wayne Shorter's "Lester Left Town" and Charles Mingus' "Fables of Faubus" has an organic effect. The latter features a powerful bass solo by Zelnik that recalls the incomparable spirit of Mingus.
Laurent leaves a strong impression throughout this recording. She is a unique voice with an abundance of fresh ideas. Time Out Trio is a disc worthy of multiple listens.
Track Listing: Autumn Nocturne; Lester Left Town; I Fall In Love Too Easily; Rejoicing; Skylark; Fables Of Faubus; A Quiet; Repeat; Tijuana Gift Shop; Love Letters.
Personnel: Geraldine Laurent: alto saxophone; Yoni Zelnik: bass; Laurent Bataille: drums.