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What Now? (With Chris Potter, Dave Holland & John Taylor)

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Album Review

Four complementary post-bop giants combine their talents on this set of original music, written and played by 74-year-old Kenny Wheeler. Wheeler, whose trumpet chops are still in their prime, sticks to flügelhorn throughout. Although his eight originals are performed at a variety of tempos, there is always a feeling of wistful melancholy, an emotion also expressed by the great young tenor saxophonist Chris Potter, pianist John Taylor (who sometimes recalls Keith Jarrett a little), and the always solid and inventive bassist Dave Holland. This music generally takes its time yet never becomes sleepy or overly predictable, because the players listen closely to each other and often think as one. Although the program would have benefited from the inclusion of a barnburner for variety, What Now? succeeds as both background mood music and a thoughtful set of inventive jazz.


Born: January 14, 1930 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Jazz trumpeter and flügelhornist Kenny Wheeler was one of the most advanced voices on his instrument. Blessed with a full, lovely tone and an astounding range, Wheeler sounded equally at home in fiery free jazz explorations or softer, more lyrical post-bop meditations. Wheeler was born in 1930 in Toronto, Ontario, and began playing trumpet at age 12. After studying at Toronto's Royal Conservatory, he moved to London in 1952, where he gigged with swing and dance bands. He appeared with John Dankworth's...
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