I'd rate Adam Bałdych as one of the world's great jazz violinists both in terms of his ferocious technique and his sparkling ideas as an improviser. So a new album, in a new direction, is an exciting prospect. The lead-off track of that new album Clouds is a sober affair, almost a lament, and its style shares a lot in common with certain contemporary classical releases perhaps as much as any jazz release you care to think of. Certainly it sits at some distance from the swing violin tradition that is so important when jazz is played in the tradition of Stéphane Grappelli to today's chief mainstream keeper of the flame Regina Carter. Baldych does things differently and is injecting a new set of ideas into what violin can achieve in a jazz setting and is following in a distinguished line of Polish players from Krzesimir Dębski to Zbigniew Seifert, Michał Urbaniak and Maciej Strzelczyk. On Clouds Baldych is joined by cellist Vincent Courtois and pianist Rogier Telderman. The material on the album, recorded in France last year, is all original, with all three musicians contributing pieces. Look for it on the ACT label at the end of September.