Album review

Henri Texier - Azur Quintet

Veteran French bassist Henri Texier here leads his Azur Quintet through a two-CD set of elegant and atmospheric compositions, aided by a string orchestra arranged by Claude Barthelemy. With especially attractive soloing by Sebastien Texier on soprano sax and clarinet, these pieces are evocative, intriguing, and always immaculately realised. Add the harmonically exploratory contributions of Bosnian pianist Bojan Zulfikarpasic and you have one of the best European jazz albums of the year. Another winner from the dependable Label Bleu.

Rating: 4 / 10


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Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...