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One of Many

Kenny Wheeler

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Album Review

Kenny Wheeler sticks to flügelhorn exclusively for this unusual yet intimate trio date with pianist John Taylor and electric bassist Steve Swallow (whose nimble playing makes it seem like he is playing an acoustic guitar at times). Together the three veterans explore the leader's stunning originals, most of which are ballads, beginning with the buoyant Brazilian-flavored "Phrase 3." "Anticipation" is a tense affair, with the rhythm section introducing a hypnotic, intricate vamp before Wheeler makes a powerful entrance stating its melancholic theme. "Old Ballad" has an air of despair, as if recalling a long-lost love, as Wheeler's expressive tone conveys the mood without the need for lyrics. "Fortune's Child" is another emotional ballad, with Taylor at times recalling Bill Evans' elegant touch."Ever After" is played in two versions. The first omits Wheeler, with Taylor and Swallow delivering a breezy, post-bop performance. The trio version takes a while to get underway but the interplay between the three men is a joy. Highly recommended.

Biography

Born: 14 January 1930 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Jazz

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

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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