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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.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.