I can heartily recommend it. The Clarinet (UK)

"New Orleans resident Evan Christopher has been called “not only the greatest jazz clarinetist alive, but one of the greatest of all time” by no less of an authority than Ahmet Ertegun, the founding chairman of Atlantic Records and, historically, a major figure in the recording industry. That is an impressive endorsement, but Christopher is an impressive musician.
This is the latest recording by Mr. Christopher and the second by the group that he put together in Paris in 2007. It was recorded in December, 2009 and released in spring, 2010. Like the earlier CD, this one simultaneously pays tribute to two traditions: the distinctive Gypsy swing of the great guitarist Django Reinhardt (especially his quintet that included clarinetist Hubert Rostaing) and the Creole clarinet tradition of New Orleans and the French Caribbean islands (especially Martinique). As has been the case for the past decade or so, Evan is heard on an Albert-system clarinet bequeathed to him by fellow clarinetist Kenny Davern.
This recording opens with a Sidney Bechet composition that Christopher renders in an unmistakably Caribbean clarinet style. That is followed by the title track, a lovely composition here attributed to Ellington bassist Billy Taylor, which features an interpretation by Evan that brings to mind a Latinized Barney Bigard. Moving on, a Christopher original, named after the band itself, reveals an interesting amalgam of the two traditions. “It’s based,” he says, “on three themes from Django’s solo, Improvisation No. 3 (parts 1 & 2), that I arranged in the manner of Jelly Roll Morton’s ‘Spanish Tinge’ pieces like The Crave.” The rhythm – a tango or habanera – is again in the Latin idiom. Indeed, Latin rhythms abound in this recording. In addition to those already mentioned, there is the tasteful samba feel that Evan gives to one of his favorite Reinhardt-Rostaing outings, “Songe d’Autumne.” Nineteenth-century New Orleans composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk was the first to combine European forms with Afro-Caribbean rhythms, and Evan here revisits the composer’s “Creole Eyes,” a piece he first recorded with pianist Tom McDermott nearly a decade ago. The CD concludes with a tip of the hat to Brazil once again with Bechet’s “Passport to Paradise” rendered as a choro, a musical style that Christopher and McDermott often visited in their several “Danza” collaborations. The program also includes a couple of good old Hoagy Carmichael evergreens, a couple of Ellington-influenced standards (I loved the bluesy shuffle of Rex Stewart’s “Solid Old Man” which features more of the Bigardian spirit), and another Reinhardt original (“Féerie”) that showcases Evan’s—indeed, the whole group’s—ability to negotiate a difficult number at breakneck speed. They’re really cooking on this one.
Mention of “the group” clearly requires that kudos be given to David Blenkhorn for his excellent solos on both accoustic and electric guitar and the solid groove laid down by Dave Kelbie and Sébastien Girardot. Combined, these four talented young musicians have given us a delicious taste of a different form of French cuisine, and I can heartily recommend it.