160

Frank Kimbrough: Lullabluebye

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Frank Kimbrough: Lullabluebye Another day, another piano trio. The thought could send a reviewer running for cover. It's such a conventional and commonplace format that reviewing yet another one could be a major challenge. How to differentiate? How to assess in context of all the others that came before? In the case of pianist Frank Kimbrough, the criteria have to include honesty, optimism and a direct perspective that leaves nothing unclear. Lullabluebye may not shake the foundations of musical evolution, but it is a captivating listen that brings together three familiar musicians in Kimbrough, bassist Ben Allison and drummer Matt Wilson, fine players all.

Kimbrough professes the objective of writing as little as possible, allowing the musicians free reign to do what they do best. Of course such a philosophy only works when the players are of such a high calibre, and possess such a strong degree of empathy, that they are capable of liberating the music from the written page, creating something deeper, more profound. Allison and Wilson are clearly skilled improvisers with histories that have crossed paths with Kimbrough more than once in the past. They take naive, almost pastoral themes like "Kid Stuff" and imbue them with rich meaning.

While Kimbrough's roots are far-reaching, the primary source for this set seems to be Keith Jarrett and, in particular, his European Quartet of the '70s. The same countrified flavour informs "Kid Stuff" and, oddly, his interpretation of the theme from "You Only Live Twice"; the same quirky sense of time and freedom-within-a-structured-motif of "Whirl" and "Ode"; and the dark impressionism of "Ghost Dance." Clear though the influence is, Kimbrough brings a lithe elegance to the music that is less relentless, less emotionally intense than Jarrett.

Simple ideas dominate the set although, reading Kimbrough's notes about the material, there are more considered, thought-out concepts that underlay the apparent ease with which the material is presented. But one quickly forgets about things like structure and context when listening to Lullabluebye ; what is immediately striking about the record is how well Kimbrough, Allison and Wilson communicate , while there is an improvisational looseness there is also a constant push-and-pull, a tension and release that makes for many moments of pure magic.


Track Listing: Lullabluebye; Centering; Kid Stuff; Ode; Whirl; Ghost Dance; You Only Live Twice; Fu Bu; Ben's Tune; Eventualities

Personnel: Frank Kimbrough (piano), Ben Allison (bass), Matt Wilson (drums)

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Palmetto Records | Style: Modern Jazz


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 "Vortex Generation Mechanisms" CD/LP/Track Review Vortex Generation Mechanisms
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 25, 2016
Read "Bombogenic" CD/LP/Track Review Bombogenic
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "United" CD/LP/Track Review United
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 11, 2016
Read "Known-Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Heavy Weather" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Weather
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Zentuary" CD/LP/Track Review Zentuary
by John Kelman
Published: December 25, 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!