Frank Kimbrough: Noumena
New York City-based pianist/composer Frank Kimbrough, also a stalwart member of the “Jazz Composers Collective” presents the jazz populous with his latest solo effort titled Noumena. - Derived from Jack Kerouac’s literary masterwork “On The Road” - “Noumena” ....”Is what you see with your eyes closed”.
Here, Kimbrough utilizes a bass-less quartet featuring guitarist Ben Monder, drummer Tony Moreno and saxophonist Scott Robinson who not only performs on tenor yet exhibits commanding authority on the seldom utilized – bass saxophone. Basically, Kimbrough’s stylized and altogether ethereal approach, in effect, seizes these hazy images (Noumena) or sensations on his composition titled “The Spins” which perhaps symbolizes the after affects of drinking a wee too much alcohol and of course, feeling a bit woozy after all the damage has been inflicted! On this piece Ben Monder renders dark ambient single note lines while often countering Tony Moreno’s impressionistic-like drumming although Kimbrough steers the band through some loose themes that seem to arise from within a hazy mist or perhaps suggesting imagery of thwarting the alcohol induced demons. However, on compositions such as “Air” and “727”, the band performs richly melodic themes and buoyant passages along with Robinson and Monder’s intermittent provisioning of dense tonalities. Throughout, Kimbrough’s lush harmonies, delicate right hand leads and extreme sensitivity provides the ambiance and tone that often conjures notions of a feather floating amid a soft breeze yet somehow remaining airborne. The final piece, aptly titled “Over” signifies a powerful end to an otherwise smooth and relatively quiet affair, yet the composite dialogue and Robinson’s curiously interesting employment of the bass saxophone offers a sense of intrigue and an uncommon edge to Kimbrough’s fetching concepts and articulate expressionism. - - Frank Kimbrough is rapidly becoming one of our most prolific pianist-composers as Noumena demonstrates his scrupulous persuasion and forward thinking mindset in thoroughly artistic and at times, animated fashion!
* * * * (out of * * * * *)
Frank Kimbrough; piano, composer: Scott Robinson; tenor & bass saxophones: Ben Monder; guitar: Tony Moreno; drums & percussion.
Track listing: Air, 727, Nightscape, The Spins, Quiet As It