181

Kenny Wheeler: It Takes Two!

By

Sign in to view read count
It takes two to tango. Two guitars, that is, on this quartet album by Kenny Wheeler, a very personal outing in a novel setting. Guitarists John Abercrombie and John Parricelli partner with the trumpeter on these Italian sessions, as well as bassist Anders Jormin.

References to world music permeate Wheeler's idiosyncratic style in these original compositions (there are also two wholly improvised tracks). He has an original way of shrouding lyrical melodies with chords and progessions that seem to be selected primarily for their colours, instead of their function. The unicity of his "chords-for-colour" approach to modal harmony has attracted many devoted followers and students.

Reminiscent of his own Angel Song (ECM, 1997) and Charlie Haden/Pat Metheny's Beyond the Missouri Sky (Verve, 1997), It Takes Two! shares the narrative quality of the latter recording. In fact, one may wonder why Wheeler has yet to be commissioned a film score.

"Comba No. 3" is an unhurried melody with an Ennio Morricone/Nino Rota-like aura. Parricelli and Abercrombie exemplify lyricism in their solos; the latter's fine playing on steel-string guitar is long overdue. Parricelli's phrasing is dramatic, dynamic and nuanced. The guitarists' luminous chordal playing enlivens the surprising modulations and drowsy feel of "One Of Many." "Love Theme from Spartacus," an easy three-note motif composed by Alex North for Stanley Kubrick, is suave in its simplicity.

The flugelhorn overdubs on the solo "Fanfare" and "After All" add texture to this intimate recording. On the latter, Parricelli's volume swells and distorted edge contrast with Wheeler's sultry and velvety tone. Alternating throughout the album between acoustic and electric guitars, the two Johns blend beautifully on "My New Hat" and "It Takes Two," Wheeler's take on tango. Jormin's warm sound, as well as Abercrombie's Wes Montgomery-like thumbing, both bring richness to the aural experience.


Track Listing: My New Hat; It Takes Two; Comba N.3; Fanfare; Love Theme From "Spartacus"; After All; Improvisation N.1; The Jig-Saw; Canter N.4; One of Many; Improvisation N.2; Never Always.

Personnel: Kenny Wheeler: flugelhorn; John Abercrombie: guitar; John Parricelli: guitar; Anders Jormin: double-bass.

Title: It Takes Two! | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: CAM Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Ariel CD/LP/Track Review Ariel
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Fukushima CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Last Dream of the Morning" CD/LP/Track Review Last Dream of the Morning
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 28, 2017
Read "This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People" CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Kucheza" CD/LP/Track Review Kucheza
by Chris Mosey
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "Edit Peptide" CD/LP/Track Review Edit Peptide
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 11, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor