|Comes in a box with a beautiful book.
As what used to be called rhythm sections go, one of the most irresistibly springy jazz-and-beyond partnerships in European music is the occasional pairing of veteran French bassist Henri Texier and Italian drummer Aldo Romano. Here they join the formidable clarinettist and saxophonist Louis Sclavis on a third venture for Label Bleu.
The pieces are by all three members, responding to images of African life by photojournalist Guy le Querrec, whose evocative work is included in a substantial CD-sized book. As with Texier's Ramparts D'Argile, this set can be as gracefully swinging as the best straightahead jazz, as exuberant as village-wedding music, as edgily cacophonous as a traffic jam in the heat and as funky as a late-period Miles band; the latter is down to Romano, who can move easily between rich, Africanised percussion sonorities and a slamming take-no-prisoners backbeat. Sclavis is teasingly lyrical or abrasively free on clarinets and sax, and Texier's basslines could make an album on their own. Delicious.