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Album Review

BK3: Think About It!

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BK3: Think About It!
BK3 is the collective name for a trio of Scotland's finest jazz players—pianist Brian Kellock, bassist Kenny Ellis and drummer John Rae. The three musicians first came together as the rhythm section for the John Rae Collective in 1988 and in the 30 or so years prior to the 2020 release of Think About It! the trio has released just two albums.

The trio recorded Think About It! at Sound Café in Penicuik, south of Edinburgh, but exactly when is something of a mystery. The Thick Records NZ promo page dates the session to sometime in 2018, while its album page gives 2019 as the date: to add to the uncertainty, a YouTube video of the band recording at the same studio, which claims to be of a session for the album, is dated as June 2009. Rae, who runs Thick Records NZ (not to be confused with Chicago's Thick Records, home to bands such as Gasoline Fight), has been based in New Zealand for some time, but returned to Scotland a couple of years ago for a brief reunion with Kellock and Ellis, so 2018 might be accurate.

The first two minutes of "East Of The Sun" are dominated by Ellis's pulsing bass and Rae's skittering drums, with Kellock's piano chords almost indiscernible underneath. When bass and drums fall briefly silent Kellock's confident, fast-flowing flurry of notes takes center stage for the remaining 90 seconds, establishing the pianist's exciting, melodic, joyous, style. "Stella By Starlight" shifts between free-form interactions between the musicians, with Ellis at the center and Kellock strumming the strings of his instrument much of the time. Kellock's more romantic and considered approach is showcased on "The Nearness Of You," a spacious, economical and very slow tempo reading of the ballad on which not a single note goes to waste. "If I Love You" is another ballad that gets the slow tempo treatment, but this time its centerpiece is a rich-toned bass solo. "Song For The Rootabagas," by former Kellock collaborator Matt Wilson brings things to a close in a loose, end-of-the-evening, laid-back kind of way, a touch of humor adding further charm to the performance.

Track Listing

East Of The Sun; The Nearness Of You; Voyage; Gone With The Wind; Stella By Starlight; If I Love You; Song For The Rootabagas.

Personnel

Brian Kellock: piano; Kenny Ellis: bass; John Rae: drums.

Album information

Title: Think About It! | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Thick Records

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