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Frank Kimbrough: Solstice

Jerome Wilson By

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Frank Kimbrough is a veteran New York pianist known best for playing with Maria Schneider's orchestra and leading his own small groups. On his new CD, Solstice, he pays tribute to several people who have inspired him in his career and life.

Most of the people he tips his hat to such as Paul Bley, Shirley Horn and Paul Motian are known for their measured use of space and time and Kimbrough, Jay Anderson and Jeff Hirshfield stay true to those concepts in their interpretations of their tunes. Their version of George Gershwin's "Here Comes The Honey Man," done for Horn, drifts along slowly in a billowing cloud and Motian's "The Sunflower" has Kimbrough probing the theme while Hirshfield evokes the composer's loose percussion accents before joining Anderson in a spot of abstract bass and drum playing. " Carla Bley's "Seven is done simply and deliberately with a Floyd Cramer-like trill in the theme like Paul Bley performed it in his early days. The overlooked Annette Peacock has two of her compositions examined with a gentle probing of "Albert's Love Theme" and a slyly swinging take on "El Cordobes" that features a throbbing bass solo by Anderson. "Solstice," by Kimbrough's life partner, Maryanne de Prophetis is a delicate, hopeful theme explored carefully while Kimbrough's own "Question's The Answer" has a quietly bluesy sway. "From California With Love" is a beautiful Andrew Hilll piece that the trio takes apart sensitively and the CD ends with a trio version of Maria Schneider's "Walking By Flashlight," the magnificent opening track of her last CD, The Thompson Fields, that carries through the solemn majesty of the original orchestral treatment.

Solstice is a quieter set than some of Frank Kimbrough's other CDs but it is also a fine display of piano trio music that shows the beauty of some of the more cerebral and meditative aspects of jazz. Also if you didn't know it already, this CD demonstrates that Kimbrough is one of the finest lesser-known pianists around.

Track Listing: 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.

Personnel: Frank Kimbrough: piano; Jay Anderson: bass; Jeff Hirshfield: drums.

Title: Solstice | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Pirouet Records

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