Frank Kimbrough: Quickening (2004)
Kimbrough plays a poetic piano on the extended "Clara's Room." He suggests an initial solitude until the threesome aggregate their collective courage to pick up the pace and investigate the room's every corner. The venerable "For Duke" has a befittingly beautiful melody that serves as an apropos tribute. Allison's gorgeous bass work allows Kimbrough to explore the melody's every angle from multiple temporal perspectives.
It's easy to lose oneself in these pieces: their ebb and flow is seductive and they envelop the listener with an expressiveness that makes for a very personal encounter. The two instances of applause almost harshly remind the listener that this was indeed a communal experience. "Svengali" is an anagramastic hypnotic tribute to Gil Evans, and "Quickening" is a tension filled piece with halting rhythms and quickly changing tempos. Kimbrough's playing is lyrical and eloquent throughout, and he is able to convey subtle shades of emotion with his expressive touch. It is, however, his interplay with Allison and Ballard that makes this a most special offering. Allison's creativity presages his worldly effort from 2002, Peace Pipe (Palmetto), and Ballard's clear mastery of time, later so apparent on pianist Chick Corea's Past Present & Futures (Stretch), is much in evidence.
This review originally appeared in AllAboutJazz-New York .
Track Listing: 1. Quickening 6:00 2. Cascade Rising 8:51 3. Chant 9:34 4. Clara's Room 11:30 5. Svengali 9:07 6. For Duke 9:24 7. TMI 9:16 8. Ancestor 8:50
Personnel: Frank Kimbrough - Piano; Ben Allison - Bass; Jeff Ballard - Drums.
Record Label: OmniTone
Style: Modern Jazz