Press quotes BELOW and interviews and feature articles in the ABOUT JAMES section.  Reviews of specific ensemble or recordings found on their respective pages.

"James Falzone is a tremendously likable, alert, no-nonsense improvising clarinetist from Chicago. Mr. Falzone’s music is thoughtful and often quiescent, but he can play hard to the breaking point. He likes history, but he’s not only repping for one tradition." Ben Ratliff, The New York Times

"James Falzone is not sitting back contentedly watching his star ascend. As an accomplished performer, composer, improviser, and educator, Falzone pursues a musical vision rooted in the middle ground between the fully notated world of conservatory-trained musicians and the improvisation-based energy of jazz and creative music. It is a territory he explores with an omnivorous appetite for musical influences and aesthetic directions, whether leading his     quartet KLANG through a set of contemporary jazz compositions at a     late night haunt, directing liturgical music with the Grace Chicago Consort, or composing for orchestra." Devin Hurd, New Music Box


"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 apart. . . . an already important Chicago voice." Matthew Lurie, Time Out Chicago 

"The finest improvising clarinetist in Chicago, who is also one of the top genre-crossing reedmen in the country...his expertise and curiosity allow him to stretch from traditional to modern in both classical music and jazz, with forays into folk and liturgical musicas well. Some artists like to blast through the walls that separate genres. Falzone turns them into putty and lets each side seep through to the other." Neil Tesser, Examiner

"One of our most ingenious composers . . . mastery and a refined sense of form. The delightful nervous energy, the clarinet obsession, the love of detail are uniquely Falzone’s." John Litweiler, Point of Departure

"Chicago clarinetist and composer James Falzone is a gem in a robust jazz mine, merging dynamic improv chops with classical compositions and a reverence for musical traditions." Scott Morrow, Alarm Magazine

"An exquisite treat to hear Falzone re-score "Stompin' at the Savoy," "Memories of You," Six Appeal," and other Goodman repertoire in a sort of 21st century, post-Jimmy Giuffre version of small group swing. It was just lovely is all." Patrick Jarenwattananon, National Public Radio's A Blog Supreme - 10 Great Moments from the 2009 Chicago Jazz Festival

"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

"Falzone is one of the city’s most focused and inquisitive clarinetists, and his compositions favor a rigor and precision that’s rare...one of the best straight-up clarinet players in Chicago’s jazz and improvised-music community." Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

"Composing yearning lyrical lines filled with dramatic turns of phrase and dynamic shifts in mood, Falzone's writing style blends the angular rhythmic punch of Henry Threadgill with the folksy, subdued lyrical quality of Jimmy Giuffre and the esoteric mysticism of Olivier Messiaen." Troy Collins, Cadence Magazine

"Falzone treated the listeners to an interconnected set of contemplative Arabic and Turkish-flavored music, complete with fluent improvisations from all members. Of particular interest was Falzone's idiomatic use of microtonality." Elena Talley, The Clarinet, December 2008 (reporting on the 2008 International Clarinet Festival in Kansas City, MO)


"With the possible exception of John Carter no precedents for his work spring readily to mind, although it's clear that he could hold his own in more 'correct' settings; technically correct as he is  though, his prowess is no obstacle to personal expression." Nic Jones, AllAboutJazz.com

"It’s safe to say now that James Falzone is one of the leading figures on the fertile Chicago Jazz scene, though he doesn’t limit himself to any musical definition." Philip McNally, Cadence

 "Falzone shows great command. His clarinet can sound smooth, harsh, pure, or complex, as the moment demands."  Stuart Kremsky, Cadence

"A virtuoso and a brilliant strategist" Michael Jackson, DownBeat

"James Falzone's at the top of his game with "Sighs Too Deep for Words," a spiritually minded work that finds the local clarinetist meditating on a variety of themes via improvisation." Time Out Chicago

"Falzone's playing is rich and elegant but never conservative, and his arrangements bear the same qualities." Bartosz Adamczak, (Free) Jazz Alchemist

"Clarinetist James Falzone covers lots of genres in his work, but his projects usually favor one at a time—his quartet Klang is a jazz band, for instance, and the Allos Musica Trio draws on the forms and sounds of Arabic music. But the solo performance on his recent DVD release Sighs Too Deep for Words (Allos Documents), whose title comes from Saint Paul's Epistle to the Romans, derives not from a genre but from a spiritual state. Falzone's intent is to have improvisation act as a contemplative practice; put another way, his playing is prayer. The variety of approaches that he employs over the disc's 54 minutes—the solemn tolling of prayer bells, fragile reed multiphonics, tangles of piercing, writhing tones—not only displays the full range of his technique but also speaks to the breadth of spiritual experience, from serenity to struggle." Bill Meyer, Chicago Reader

"As a superfan of the clarinet, I look forward to each release from the ever-amazing James Falzone, one of the finest clarinetists around and a great composer as well." Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery