James Falzone

Primary Instrument: Clarinet

James Falzone

“Falzone is a remarkable, in-the-moment improviser -- able, as few virtuosi can, to listen as intently as he sings.”
--Larry Kart, Author of Jazz in Search of Itself (Yale University Press)

Composer and clarinetist James Falzone is working at the intersection of many styles of music including jazz, improvised, classical, and folk traditions. He has been featured on numerous public radio and television shows and has performed in concert halls and jazz clubs throughout the United States and abroad with his own Allos Musica Projects. He has also collaborated with such diverse and visionary artists as Steve Lacy, Richard Stoltzman, Jorrit Dijkstra, Theodore Bikel, Joe Maneri, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Ran Blake, and many others. ...
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”The only way to sum up the style of Chicago clarinetist and composer James Falzone is to say that it can’t be done. Falzone is an inveterate genre-crosser, and though he squawks and swoops with some of the city’s best free improvisers, it’s his fluency in classical and ethnic European cultures that set him already important Chicago voice...”
--Matthew Lurie, Time Out Chicago

”...[Falzone] weaves music from threads of classical and jazz, and colors it with Middle Eastern filligree. His playing is technically unassailable, his deployment of a bassoon and three strings within his sextet impressively intricate, and the tripartite title piece summons some lovely textures.”
--Bill Meyer, DownBeat

”As heard on the terrific new The Sign and the Thing Signified, this group led by clarinetist James Falzone is distinguished both by its mix of classically inspired, through-composed, and improvised material and by its instrumentation: the current lineup includes cellist Kevin Davis, violist Amy Cimini, bassoonist Katherine Young, bassist Krzysztof Pabian, percussionist Eric Platz, and Todd Carter on electronics. Through impressive use of counterpoint and a knack for encouraging discrete interaction among the players, Falzone keeps the group's unusual assemblage of dry timbres from blending into a single astringent wash. Whether on an adaptation of a Purcell aria or a solo clarinet vignette, the music maintains a bracing clarity and sense of focus.”
--Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

”This is a genuinely unusual record, thoughtful and thought-provoking.”
--Duncan Heining, Jazzwise

”Falzone brings several musical styles into his compositions. He is an articulate and interesting composer who utilizes the structure of classical music, the rhythms of Klezmer, the spark of polytonality and an abandon witnessed in free blowing to build a vibrant body.”
--Jerry D'Souza,

”...Falzone blends an impressive array of influences into a singular style all his own. Composing yearning lyrical lines filled with dramatic turns of phrase and dynamic shifts in mood, his writing style blends the angular rhythmic punch and spontaneous freedom of Henry Threadgill with the folksy, subdued lyrical quality of Jimmy Giuffre and the esoteric mysticism of Oliver Messiaen. An engaging album that reveals new depths with repeated listens, The Sign and the Thing Signified is another rich document demonstrating the endless versatility and creativity of the Chicago creative improvised music scene.”
--Troy Collins, Cadence

”Clarinetist James Falzone and his improvising chamber sextet Allos Musica have taken symbols, whether real, imagined or conjured, and have made music that transcends category, moving it into a unique realm. Using bassoon, viola, cello and double bass, flavored by the sensitive percussion work of the fine Chicago musician Tim Mulvenna, a witty, piquant and eminently listenable Falzone extrapolates on past traditions made utterly modern...this is a consistently intriguing date from Falzone and friends, and comes highly recommended.”
--Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

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