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Frank Kimbrough: Play (2006)

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Frank Kimbrough: Play How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

With this program of modern mainstream originals, pianist Frank Kimbrough embarks on a journey that emphasizes layers of lush harmony and ethereal impressions. While meter plays an important role on Play, Kimbrough's trio finds that it can express just as well with or without this tool; the pianist's swirling keyboard attacks ebb and flow dynamically.

Bassist Masa Kamaguchi and drummer Paul Motian share equally in this creative journey, lending lustrous textures that ooze freely alongside the pianist's lyric impressions. Jimmy G, in honor of Jimmy Giuffre, drifts slowly in three, applying a relaxed blues hue to the performance. "The Spins, a quirky dedication to Steve Lacy, drives up-tempo with animation. "Beginning and "Beginning 2 both come with slow, moody impressions that recall the classic Bill Evans Trio.

"Regeneration, composed just nine days after September 11, 2001, provides an uplifting feeling of hope. Here, Kimbrough's piano cries out in search of answers. His lyrical approach turns toward that side of us that understands starting over and finding the strength to build. Motian's two compositions, "Play and "Conception Vessel, eschew meter in favor of an ethereal quality that lifts the trio on clouds of soft cotton.

Little Big Man, written with some humor in mind, drives pleasantly through a quirky scenario that lives for its freedom. It's obvious that Kimbrough and his musical partners enjoyed putting this program together. As we share this satisfying music with them, we're able to feel the same kind of energy and spontaneity.

Track Listing: Beginning; The Spins; Lucent; Waiting in Santander; Conception Vessel; Jimmy G; Play; Regeneration; Little Big Man; Beginning 2.

Personnel: Frank Kimbrough: piano; Masa Kamaguchi: bass; Paul Motian: drums.

Record Label: Palmetto Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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