152

William Menefield: Big Will Leaps In

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Acoustic piano trios are the backbone of mainstream jazz, allowing for a proper balance of both expository and extemporaneous material. The three artists have distinct roles that require cohesion and "big ears." Cincinnati veteran Art Gore and bassist Tyrone Wheeler make fine partners for the teenaged William Menefield. Born to a musical family, the talented pianist seems a natural for small ensemble leadership. Menefield wrote four pieces for this debut album, exhibiting a grasp of the essentials and revealing an appreciation for the music that normally takes developing artists at least a dozen more years before reaching fruition. The addition of Mike Wade and Kevin Engel on three tracks adds variety while digging deeper into the mainstream well. Menefield’s clear and confident piano style is percussive, but light. He prefers bop-derived staccato phrasing along with fluid keyboard articulation.

Standards, like a listener’s old friends, are mature and reliable; they go out of their way to please you. The familiar melodies make you feel right at home, creating a common bond. With Engel joining the trio for "Equinox," things turn out quite like we remember John Coltrane’s original. With Menefield standing alone on "Misty," we recognize the lovely approach Erroll Garner embodied. Turning to Dizzy Gillespie’s arrangement of "A Night in Tunisia" we recognize the familiar horn interplay and the energetic workout from each member of the quintet. Holding fast to the building blocks we revere, while taking his time to explore and expand, William Menefield has made a strong start with the promise of a bright future.


Track Listing: Owenthology; Big Will Leaps In; Equinox; Mismatch; For Patriece; Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise; Bye-Bye Blackbird; Misty; Straight, No Chaser; A Night in Tunisia.

Personnel: William Menefield- piano; Tyrone Wheeler- acoustic bass; Art Gore- drums; Mike Wade- trumpet, flugelhorn; Kevin Engel- tenor saxophone.

| Record Label: J Seven | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "The Whole World Must Change" CD/LP/Track Review The Whole World Must Change
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 13, 2016
Read "Soundscapes" CD/LP/Track Review Soundscapes
by Jim Olin
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "Young" CD/LP/Track Review Young
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 4, 2016
Read "Plays New Zealand" CD/LP/Track Review Plays New Zealand
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Live! from the Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Live! from the Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute
by Jim Olin
Published: March 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!