Kenny Wheeler

Songs for Quintet (ECM 2388)

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Songs for Quintet

Kenny Wheeler

ECM

602547046536

ECM 145038

ECM 2388

JAZZ

1

Songs for Quintet

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CD 13,22 €

Songs for Quintet, Kenny Wheeler’s final recording, features compositions of relatively recent vintage, plus a fresh approach to “Old Time” – which the Azimuth trio used to play –and “Nonetheless”, a piece introduced on Angel Song. The album was recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios with four of Kenny’s favourite players. Stan Sulzmann, John Parricelli, Chris Laurence and Martin France work together marvellously as an interactive unit, solo persuasively, and provide support for the tender and lyrical flugelhorn of the bandleader.

The session turned out to be the last occasion on which Kenny played with other musicians. He was not well enough to participate in what was intended to be a celebratory quintet gig shortly after the recording. If age and illness temper the strength of his sound on Songs for Quintet, the melodic imagination and the improvisational courage remain; the flugelhorn soloist could not be anybody but Kenny Wheeler. His exchanges with Stan Sulzmannthroughout the album are full of charm, and indicative of the sense of friendship and mutual respect that characterises the whole band. Everybody’s looking out for the leader, which need not imply a reining in of energies. Listen to the roaring of the ensemble on the strangely-titled “1076”, for instance, and the way in which Kenny solos above the groundswell of drums and the thick swaths of electric guitar texture. This doesn’t fit conventional notions of “late music”.

PERSONNEL:

KENNY WHEELERM flugelhorn
STAN SULZMANN, tenor sax
JOHN PARRICELLI, guitar
CHRIS LAURENCEM double bass
MARTIN FRANCE, drums

Abbey Road Studios, London, December 2013.

TRACKS:

01. Seventy-Six
02. Jigsaw
03. The Long Waiting
04. Canter No.1
05. Sly Eyes
06. 1076
07. Old Time
08. Pretty LiddleWaltz
09. Nonetheless