4

Chris Laurence: Ken Wheeler - Some Gnu Ones

BY

Sign in to view read count
Chris Laurence: Ken Wheeler - Some Gnu Ones
The Jazz in Britain label has made its reputation with a niche catalogue of previously unavailable archive albums, mostly recorded live back in the day by jazz greats such as the saxophonists Tubby Hayes and Joe Harriott. With the lovely Ken Wheeler: Some Gnu Ones, the label ventures more or less into the present day with three pieces written by the late trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and recorded in 2020 and 2021 by the bassist Chris Laurence, for whom they were written by Wheeler, his close friend and longtime colleague.

There are three tracks. On the first, "Piece for Double Bass and Low Strings," Laurence is accompanied by vibraphonist Frank Ricotti, drummer Martin France and a viola and cello-weighted string quintet. Track two, "C-Man," has Laurence, Ricotti and France plus guitarist John Parricelli. Track three, "Baroque Piece," has Laurence, Parricelli and flugelhornist Tom Walsh.

Only "C-Man" has previously been recorded: it first appeared in this form on Wheeler's Kayak (ah um, 1992), on which Laurence played, and in a different form as "Ma Belle Helene" on Wheeler's The Widow In The Window (ECM, 1990), on which Dave Holland was the bassist.

At twenty-eight minutes, the album is short but perfectly formed. The longest track, at sixteen minutes, is the opener (the only one to make it to YouTube by the time of writing, see below). It may or may not ring your bell, being a three-movement contemporary-classical suite. How much, if any, of it is improvised is unclear. The shorter "C-Man" and "Baroque Piece" are, however, unmistakably top-drawer jazz. The first is lively and pretty, the second a tad more astringent, though still pretty. Great solos from Laurence, Ricotti and Parricelli.

Track Listing

Piece For Double Bass And Low Strings; C-Man; Baroque Piece.

Personnel

Chris Laurence: bass, acoustic; Frank Ricotti: vibraphone; John Parricelli: guitar, electric; Tom Walsh: trumpet; Martin France: drums.

Additional Instrumentation

On Track 1: Rita Manning: violin; Bill Hawkes: viola; Katie Wilkinson: viola; Nick Cooper: cello; Ian Budge: cello.

Album information

Title: Ken Wheeler - Some Gnu Ones | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Jazz In Britain

Post a comment about this album

Video

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

The 1959 Sessions
Stan Tracey Trio
Live 2020-2021
Bévort 3
Live at the Green Mill
Matt Ulery's Delicate Charms
Eternal Aporia
Ben Thomas (US)
Late Night
Sean Fyfe
Cajun Blue
Juliet Varnedoe
2 Blues For Cecil
Andrew Cyrille, William Parker & Enrico Rava

Popular

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.