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The Brian Dickinson Quintet: The Rhythm Method

Dan McClenaghan By

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Toronto-based pianist Brian Dickinson explores the "quintet with a two sax front line" on The Rhythm Method. He takes his lead from the somewhat overlooked pianist/conceptualist Lennie Tristano, who broke the ground with his historic 1949 Capitol Sessions featuring Lee Konitz on alto sax and Warne Marsh on tenor sax; and with his 1956 recordings with Marsh and Ted Brown, both on tenor.

The set opens on Wayne Shorter's "Orion," featuring a sparkling extended solo by Dickenson that brings Shorter's collaborations with Herbie Hancock to mind, while alto saxophonist Luis Deniz stretches his lines, a la Lee Konitz, and tenor sax man Kelly Jefferson blows with a sharper, more powerhouse diction.

"Bon Voyage, " a tune brimming with a floating loveliness, unrolls from the like a silken fabric from a smooth-rolling spool, with bassist Neil Swainson and drummer Ted Warren cushioning the rhythm with a nuanced grace. "'Tude" is more propulsive, popping and snapping, with a relentless verve.

"The Rhythm Method Suite" makes up the disc's last five turns. It serves as a spirited and exploratory tribute to the Tristano/Marsh school of music making—a cool, relaxed school that never has gone out of style, even if its roots aren't as acknowledged as they perhaps should be. And the group makes it seem so effortless—the circuitous piano solos, the flexible rhythms, the saxophone conversations—on this set of first rate compositions (all from Dickinson's pen), giving a classic, time-tested approach a compellingly beautiful, modern shine.

Track Listing: Orion; Open Season; Bon Voyage; Moonshine; 'Tude; The Rhythm Method Suite: Lennie's Loonies; Trane Trip; Stepping Out; It's Hugh Or Nolan; Raking Leaves.

Personnel: Brian Dickinson: piano; Kelly Jefferson: tenor sax; Luiz Deniz; alto sax; Neil Swainson: bass; Ted Warren: drums.

Title: The Rhythm Method | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Addo Records


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