Jazz CD Reviews
Frank Kimbrough, solo piano – Air – Palmetto Recordings
Published on November 30, 2007
Pianist Kimbrough wrote the notes to his own album. His dues have been paid with the Jazz Composers Collective in NYC and in Maria Schneider’s Orchestra, as well as other gigs. He reports that when first arriving in NYC in 1983 he played at a noisy club in the Village – six-hour-long solo stints, and that although he learned a lot about music during that time he eventually forgot about it. Then the owner of the popular recording venue Maggie’s Farm contacted him to try out some new mics and work that had been done on their Steinway and they made some test recordings. The results were so promising a solo CD was planned and this is it.
Kimbrough’s mentors were Paul Bley, Andrew Hill and Shirley Horn. I hear a very thoughtful simplicity in his approach similar to Bley’s, but with perhaps a bit more fleshing out harmonically. Two Monk classics, one Ellington and a Paul Motian original fill out the nine-track program which otherwise consists of originals by Kimbrough. I really liked the total honesty of the tune title Three Chords. On the slower tunes such as that one, Kimbrough uses a lot of sustaining pedal for an almost Debussyan feeling. He has a fresh and engaging approach in both the originals and classics, and the piano sound is excellent – those new mics seem to have done the job.
TrackList: It should’ve happened a long time ago, Quickening, Coming on the Hudson, Air, Wig Wise, Three Chords, The Spins, Jackie-ing, Ca’lina.
– John Henry