Ron Brendle/Frank Kimbrough: Autumn (2001)
There is a definite North Carolina flavor to this release. Bassist Ron Brendle has been a resident of the Charlotte area since 1981 and pianist Frank Kimbrough was born in the State. In addition, one of the tunes on the play list is the product of the recently departed North Carolinian, Loonis McGlohon, erstwhile pianist and Alec Wilder collaborator. Maybe it's the commonality of birth place/residence that helps explain the synergy that exists between these two exceptional jazz artists. Whatever, their working as one closeness is apparent on every track. whether it be the pensive, soothing "No Goodbyes" or an absorbing improvisional, curiously rhythmed take of the old warhorse, "Indian Summer", where Kimbrough's sparkling piano dances all around the melody line with Brendle laying down solid bass lines underneath before taking a chorus for himself. There is a lightness, in the sense of buoyancy not frippery, in the way the two approach the material. They avoid becoming ponderous or stentorian as they thoughtfully deliver each tune on the program. At the same time, the two create an environment of thoughtfulness in the meditative way they establish their musical presence. The performance of aptly named "Prayer for Peace of Mind" comes close to reverence. But instead of despair, Kimbrough's right hand high on the keyboard predicts an optimistic outcome. To punctuate this feeling, Brendle culls some high notes from the usually deep toned bass.
The only problem with this CD is the time, only 36 minutes of music is provided. Certainly these two accomplished artists have more to say than that. Recommended anyway. Visit Brendle and Kimbrough at their web sites, www.ronbrendle.com and http://home.earthlink.net/~ fkimbrough/Fkbio.html, respectively.
Track Listing: Waltz for Lee; Indian Summer; Autumn Nocturne; No Goodbyes; Nobody Home; Prayer for Peace of Mind
Personnel: Ron Brendle - Bass; Frank Kimbrough - Piano.