346

Kirk Knuffke: Chew Your Food

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Kirk Knuffke: Chew Your Food Originally from Colorado, trumpeter Kirk Knuffke has been based in the Big Apple since 2005. Though he may be best known as a member of drummer Matt Wilson's celebrated Quartet, the brass man also leads his own quartet, with two previous recordings for the prolific Portuguese Clean Feed label, while he and pianist Jesse Stacken also record for Denmark's Steeplechase label. Now, he unveils the debut of his trio on the adventurous Lithuanian No Business imprint, released in a limited edition of 500 LPs. As an aside, that travelogue tells something profound about the state of the current US jazz business.

In 2009, Knuffke received a Jerome Foundation Composers grant though Roulette in New York City. The resultant works were performed at the club in March that year, with drummer Kenny Wollesen and bassist Lisle Ellis. Knuffke has previously worked in both their bands, so was familiar with their strengths. Ellis' bass revels in a deep grainy timbre, nimble yet measured, maintaining an edgy commentary. Wolleson is more understated, gently keeping a pulse and coloring.

Knuffke boasts such a warm rich tone that his trumpet, at times, sounds reminiscent of Kenny Wheeler's flugelhorn on some ECM sides from the mid-'70s. That's an impression reinforced by his airy lyrical bent, which finds expression throughout this 48-minute set. Although nine tracks are demarcated on the sleeve, they are aggregated into three continuous pieces, including two lengthy suites with parts linked by drum or bass interludes.

As an opener, "Chirpy" is near-perfect. Knuffke's trumpet ambles elegantly over a skipping beat, moving imperceptibly from theme to three way interplay. Knuffke smoothly negotiates the rhythmic contours, his sinuous lines effortlessly melodic. A choppy drum interlude heralds a return to the head, before a spot for Ellis signals a segue into the next section. Later, there is a lovely break for solitary trumpet: breathy, deliberately phrased, soft even in the higher registers, with brief wavering half valve effects, before the suite concludes with a minimalist passage for Wolleson's shuffling brushes.

"Chew Your Food" follows a tentative start with a pleasing duet for delicate, burry trumpet and austere arco bass, supported by subliminally rumbling drums. But in spite of these and other notable sections, the overall effect is one of undue restraint, which together with too few memorable themes, means that this band doesn't quite deliver on its full potential.

Track Listing: Chirpy; The Work; Sung The Same; Whatever's Next; That's A Shame; Chew Your Food; Motor; Loading; Grummet.

Personnel: Kirk Knuffke: trumpet; Lisle Ellis: bass; Kenny Wollesen: drums.

Title: Chew Your Food | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Rising Colossus" CD/LP/Track Review Rising Colossus
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Dream In The Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Dream In The Blue
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 28, 2016
Read "Atmosphères" CD/LP/Track Review Atmosphères
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "Antenna" CD/LP/Track Review Antenna
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Moments Captured" CD/LP/Track Review Moments Captured
by Andrew Luhn
Published: May 12, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.