Born in Denver, Colorado Kenny Warren is now an established member of the New York improvised music scene having moved to NYC in 2002. He's been kept busy with various projects including his folk-jazz outfit Laila and Smitty, and playing with pianist Bobby Avey and tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby amongst many others.
Listening to this set entirely composed by Warren, the perceived mood is one of angularity. The opener "Stones Change" is indicative of the territory in which Warren moves. The contrapuntal head shared between trumpet and piano is relatively brief but subtle. The labyrinthine "Huge Knees" offers several pleasing twists and turns whilst "Iranosaurus Rex" begins with lyrical piano, developing a languid theme later enjoined by the ensemble.
There's an astringency to the pieces that's often tempered by rhythmic congruence as witnessed for example on "Hala Hala" which starts in frenetic boppy mode but swiftly evolves into a more relaxed passage before transmuting once more into a collective ensemble improvisation. The bouncy "Cheese Grater" is worthy of Thelonius Monk in terms of its deceptively-sounding insouciance, all held together by JP Schlegelmilch's fluid piano. The affecting closer, "Every Moment Is Born Lives and Dies" is as near as this album comes to a ballad, the resultant space providing ample opportunity to appreciate the particularly fine rhythm section of Noah Garabedian and Satoshi Takeishi.
It's intriguing to speculate who might have been Warren's cardinal influencers, Miles Davis, Don Cherry, Lester Bowie? But undoubtedly Warren has chops a-plenty and compositional talent to match.
Track Listing: Stones Change; Huge Knees; Iranosaurus Rex; Hala Hala; Cheese Greater;
Every Moment Is Born Lies and Dies.