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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.

Customer Reviews


This album is one of the greatest jazz albums ever made! Utterly incomparable jazz fastened beautifully by the most gorgeous horn combination today, chris potter and kenny wheeler, whose different but truly complimentary sounds make for a lush and sophisticated harmonic adjunct to the rhythmic drive of the piano and bass. A truly GENIUS pianist John Taylor whose chordal ideas are unmatched. Of course the magnificent Dave Holland is showing his full bass prowess on this date, holding down the fort, keeping the time solid, with some great soloing. This music evokes melancholia, and raw emotion, perhaps like a more european influenced passion-wrought homage to moments of Coltrane's A Love Supreme. I'll make this bold statement, but hold true to it: besides Coltrane, this is the most beautiful thing I've ever heard in my life. A MUST BUY!!!!


This is some of the finest modern jazz I have heard. All four of these musicians are captivating in essentially every note they play. Chris Potter's solo on "Iowa City," especially, is a marvel of not only what are certainly near-unparalled dexterity and techinique, but of a colossal brilliance in his sense of style. The way he builds and sustains tension throughout is amazing. The CD is worth it just for those three minutes.


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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