The piano trio format gets a boost with this new recording by the Boston-based “Jacques Chanier Trio”. On Kite Flight, pianist Jacques Chanier, bassist Thomson Kneeland and drummer Brooke Sofferman interject prominent doses of grandeur and verve into this set consisting of ten Chanier original compositions. Essentially, the music zips by at an often-whirlwind pace. Other than a few ballads, these musicians maintain a lofty degree of excitement, which is evident from the onset with the opener, titled, “Two Blues in One”. On this track, Chanier leads the rhythm section through a swing/groove motif coupled with a touch of Euro-classicism as Paris, France born Chanier melds fluent lines with radiant melodies and rapidly executed chord progressions along with pungent support from Sofferman and Kneeland. The composition, “Naive Cat” boasts a delightful and somewhat whimsical motif augmented by a loose vibe as the pianist ruminates through a bevy of ideas while exhibiting sparkling control amid a “Parisian” like theme. The musicians stagger the flow just a bit on the tuneful ballad, “Quiet Memories” whereas; they kick the proceedings into overdrive with a memorably melodic ostinato and a dashing attack on “Remembering Miles”. Here and throughout, Chanier has a blast redeveloping previously stated melodies atop rapid shifts in tempo and the fiercely swinging pulse of the rhythm section.
Kite Flight is an appropriate title for this thoroughly engaging effort as the musicians effortlessly glide through these predominately alluring tunes yet also soar into the heavens with burning intensity and lilting interplay. Highly recommended.
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total)
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total). He saw an alto sax on my neck and said: Hey, how about you there, would you like to play something for us? I played a piece with the piano. OK, said Lee, how about you play something unaccompanied? Oh yeah! I was deep into transcribing Sonny Stitt and pretty much into playing as fast as possible as many right notes as possible. So I played Oleo in about 300 beats per minute and was very proud of myself. Lee was tapping his foot all the way through. Hmm, he said, that was in time and all that... (I thought - yeah, of course, haha!) and then he said, You've got a lot of quantity, how about quality? It took me 15 years to realize what he meant.