Playing With The Trio w/K. Clarke & J. Woode + CD
RW 148 LP
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If Belgian pianist, composer, and arranger Francy (Francois) Boland is remembered today, it is undoubtedly as co-leader of the European big band he formed with drummer Kenny Clarke back in the ’60s. And while his significant work with the large ensemble justifies that perception, it is unfortunate that he doesn’t get credit as well for his talent as a pianist. Boland may not be a name that resonates like that of a Bill Evans or a Dave Brubeck, but he is a musician that knows his way around a keyboard.
Just listen to him on the recent Schema release Playing With The Trio. The album is a set of nine tracks culled from his 1971 collection Going Classic, recorded in Cologne in 1967. Playing with Clarke and bassist Jimmy Woode, the set highlights Boland’s colorful phrasing and impeccable taste. Not every big band leader is a great instrumentalist—leading a big band requires a set of skills that in many respects has nothing to do with musical talent. Boland clearly had the extra-musical skills necessary for success with a big band and plenty of musical muscle to go with it.
Recorded at Lindstrom Studio, Cologne, February 19th 1967