The title Nocturne Parisian might lead some to assume that it is an album of French music, but they won't hear any Edith Piaf songs on this chance-taking CD. Although most of Nocturne Parisian was recorded in Puteaux, France, it's actually a jazz fusion disc that incorporates elements of African, Middle Eastern, Asian and Latin music. Miles Davis is a major influence on Graham Haynes -- both as a composer and a soloist -- but the cornetist's writing also owes an artistic debt to the innovations of Joe Zawinul and Weather Report. Haynes, who is the son of drummer Roy Haynes, offers two interpretations of Ivan Lins' "The Island," although his primary emphasis is on his own compositions -- and those pieces are played with horns and electric keyboards as well as ethnic instruments like the Indian tamboura and various African drums. Given Muse's reputation as a straight-ahead jazz label, something this fusion oriented was hardly the first thing one expected from the label. But make no mistake: Nocturne Parisian is every bit as intelligent, thought-provoking, and creative as any bop recording that Muse put out.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson