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Album Review

Chant is a relaxed yet inspired trio date featuring pianist Frank Kimbrough with two of his closest associates from the Jazz Composers Collective: bassist Ben Allison and drummer Jeff Ballard. Along with brief, delightfully understated readings of Ornette Coleman's "Feet Music" and Jimmy Giuffre's "Phoenix," the trio wades through three collaborative improvisations. "Chant," a loosely structured piece, begins with a riff that vaguely recalls McCoy Tyner's "Effendi"; "Broadside" is propelled by a funky, unchanging swing motif that sets up clearly demarcated solos by Kimbrough and Allison; and "Motility" brings the trio to a rolling boil, with Kimbrough soloing over a swinging medium tempo, framed by bass and drum solos at the start and finish, respectively. Rounding out the program are three Kimbrough originals: the touching waltz "Clara's Room," the free jazz ditty "Quickening," and the dark, turbulent "Ancestors," which features rubato piano ruminations over a frantic swing tempo. Despite moments of fairly high abstraction, Chant is consistently accessible, and it represents Kimbrough's approach to composition and improvisation particularly well. ~ David R. Adler, Rovi


Born: November 2, 1956 in Roxboro, NC

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the more individualistic acoustic pianists of the '80s, '90s, and 2000s, Frank Kimbrough is an "inside/outside" improviser whose primary influences range from Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett to Cecil Taylor, Paul Bley, and Andrew Hill. Kimbrough can play with as much elegance as Evans or Jarrett, but that doesn't prevent him from often taking it "outside" and acknowledging Taylor's innovations. The pianist was born and raised in North Carolina, where he learned to appreciate a wide variety of...
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Chant, Frank Kimbrough
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