Curtis Fowlkes Catfish Corner

Funny that real jam sessions are so rare these days because they used to be the backbone of the creative jazz scene. So it’s a joy to hear such groovy jamming happening in this trombone player’s music. Part of the secret recipe is revealed in the duo ballad “When I Fall In Love,” as Fowlkes merges melody and swing in equal measure. He’s so old style he’s a fresh pleasure. Yet his band makes contemporary driving fusion that recalls Julian Priester’s Polarization. Joined by such capable players as Sam Furnace on alto sax and Russ Johnson on trumpet, you soon realise that this music is never in danger of becoming an exercise in nostalgia. (Knitting Factory)