By John Ephland | Published January 2018
While Guilhem Flouzat appears to be more naturally inclined to record his own music, A Thing Called Joe is an indicator of this trio’s ongoing love life with the Great American Songbook. Joining the drummer are longtime bandmates Sullivan Fortner on piano and bassist Desmond White. What they’ve come up with is a new generation’s take on music recorded generations before they were born.
The delight is in the details, specically their spontaneously chosen titles, including the title track, written by Harold Arlen. It’s a sauntering visit that takes its time, swinging all the while, Flouzat’s brushwork a reminder of Ed Thigpen with Oscar Peterson’s trio. Fortner’s approach to these songs is determinative and reflects many inuences, including Nat “King” Cole and Erroll Garner on the bouncy “Walking My Baby Back Home.” This trio’s anities with ballads is best heard with their renditions of “When I Fall In Love” and “There’s No You,” the arrangements personal and intimate. Flouzat’s delicate march and Fortner’s extreme patience with the melody of “When I Fall In Love” highlight this band’s intimacy with music created when love was reected through tough but tender melodies not originally designed for jazz interpretation.
A Thing Called Joe: There’s No You; Oska T; Perdido; When I Fall In Love; Walking My Baby Back Home; Midnight Mood; Mrs. Parker Of KC; Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe. (39:49)
Personnel: Guilhem Flouzat, drums; Sullivan Fortner, piano; Desmond White, bass.