Pianist Frank Kimbrough
's latest offering, Solstice
on the Pirouet label, is a joy from beginning to end.
Pirouet is the home of some other fine piano trios, including those of Marc Copland
(see Some Love Songs
and Night Whispers
Copland, arguably working from the Bill Evans
aesthetic is, of course, quite different than Kimbrough, who resides much more within the aesthetic of Paul Bley
, who worked with and influenced many players including Satoko Fujii
(see Something About Water
Indeed, the allure of Solstice
is its very "Bley-ishness" which is combined with a deep ruminative intensity as well as a strong sense of a personal statement being made.
The recording has much in common with drummer Jeff Cosgrove
's Conversations With Owls
, besides both including Kimbrough, in that both trios had little or no preparation and just played, recording the first takes. While Kimbrough came with tunes, Cosgrove just asked for the feeling of space. Thus both recordings were made in the moment and are a testament to the sensitivity and musical reflexes of the performers. Bassist Jay Anderson
and drummer Jeff Hirshfield
have both known Kimbrough a long time and the trio plays as one.
The choice of compositions is also very telling. The title (and longest) tune is by Kimbrough's life partner Maryanne de Prophetis
and which has a melody that somehow never ends. There are two gorgeous tunes by the enigmatic Annette Peacock
("El Cordobes" and "Albert's Love Theme" -see An Acrobat's Heart
). "The Sunflower" by Paul Motian
fits right in Kimbrough's predilection for the harmonies and lines of Bley. Maria Schneider
, in whose orchestra Kimbrough has long played, is represented by "Walking By Flashlight" which appeared on her most recent and highly acclaimed project The Thompson Fields
Magnificent and magical music, highly emotional and deeply felt.
Seven; Here Come The Honey Man; Solstice; The Sunflower; Albert's Love Theme; Question's The Answer; From California With Love; El Cordobes; Walking By Flashlight.
Frank Kimbrough: piano; Jay Anderson: bass; Jeff Hirshfield: drums.