Kenny Wheeler – One Of Many – CAM Jazz CAM 5042, 55:20 ****:
(Kenny Wheeler – Flugelhorn; John Taylor – piano; Steve Swallow – electric bass)
Kenny Wheeler, the Canadian-born trumpet and flugelhorn player, who helped put Canadians on the international music map, has issued his latest offering which confirms his reputation as a jazz giant. In this unusual trio outing, Wheeler plays only Flugelhorn on a ten-track set of his own varied compositions.
Confirming that at eighty-one Wheeler has not lost any of his pitch and scope, the disc starts out with a light-hearted Brazilian-styled offering entitled “Phase 3”. Taylor and Swallow are sympathetic accompanists who are perfectly adapted in providing the musical support in these somewhat minimalist arrangements, as evidenced by “Anticipation” and “Aneba”. The tempo is turned up slightly with “Any How” but the character of the music remains unchanged.
The next composition, “Even After,” is offered in two formats. Firstly the duo of Taylor and Swallow expound on the theme in a lilting style, and then on the final track, the trio takes its turn in a performance that demonstrates the empathy the group has with each other. On the in-between cuts, namely “Now and Now Again”, “Old Ballad” and “Fortune’s Child”, the trio provides a vibrancy and intricacy that often reminiscent of incidental music to those noir thrillers of the late ‘40s and early ‘50s.This is not a bad thing, it is simply a reflection on those expressive emotions that these unstructured pieces provide.
This is a serious outing in a long and outstanding career.
TrackList: Phase 3; Anticipation; Aneba; Any How; Canter #5; Even After(duo version); Now and Now Again; Old Ballad; Fortune’s Child; Even After.
A bona fide jazz legend is celebrated with an all-star documentary soundtrack vinyl soundtrack.