Improvisation has long been a key part of the jazz musician's repertoire, and the organizers of last weekend's Tokyo Jazz Festival (TJF) found themselves having to do some of their own improvising at the eleventh hour when news came through that headline act Ornette Coleman was unable to fly due to poor health.

In his place, the trio of Makoto Ozone on piano, Christian McBride on bass and Jeff "Tain" Watts on drums stepped in at short notice to play a second set. They were joined by a number of other musicians drawn in from the festival's lineup to play a special session of Coleman tunes to an appreciative audience.

Despite Coleman's absence, there was plenty for the weekend's thousands of visitors to enjoy over the course of the festival, with the main action split between the International Forum Hall, the Cotton Club and some free open-air sets outside in the Plaza in the capital's central Yurakucho district.