The super-abundance of jazz musicians on CD has had the curious effect of making composition an area in which they can stake out territory of their own. That can be an important step on their way to what must still be that holiest of grails: the realisation of their own musical identity.
David Kane is a case in point. In penning the airily rhapsodic "Other Roads," he proves that he's as in the pocket as the next person in the modern mainstream field, but with the odd metre and intervals of "Machinery Of The Night," he offers evidence of something entirely different and more compelling. Dave Liebman's presence on tenor sax on the latter piece enhances that impression and underlines the notion that Kane is one to watch. Liebman's presence has the effect of adding an extra dimension to the music in a way that's worthy of the loudest applause, and the relish that's a hallmark of his work here suggests that he might be of a similar opinion.
His soprano sax on "Smilestone" is indicative of a musician who has paid his dues on that demanding horn, and the degre of empathy between him and the piano trio is a mark of how close his focus is. The act of bringing both intelligence and a wealth of experience to bear should always result in music as listenable as this.
Liebman's appearance on four tracks of this disc makes it effectively a programme of two halves. "Moving Pictures," played by a piano trio able to evoke a mood whilst staying on the right side of sentiment, again shows how Kane is working towards a compositional vocabulary of his own. Kudos have to go to both bassist Drew Gress and drummer Tony Marlucci for the empathy and depth of experience they bring to proceedings.
So, with this his fourth release as a leader, David Kane evidently has higher aims and intentions in mind than becoming just another journeyman pianist, and watching this space looks set to reveal some rich rewards in the future. For the moment, what's on offer here is ample evidence of a musician and composer who is thinking about where he wants to take his music, rather than simply relying on laying truckloads of technique on listeners as the sole means for winning our attention.
Personnel: David Kane: piano; Drew Gress: bass; Tony Martucci: drums. Dave Liebman: soprano
saxophone (1,3), tenor saxophone (5,7).