Kenny Wheeler/John Taylor/Steve Swallow: One of Many - review

(CAM Jazz)

As they showed last month at London's Pizza Express Jazz Club, London, in the company of the excellent young American saxist Jon Irabagon, the long-standing partnership of composer and flugelhornist Kenny Wheeler and pianist John Taylor still flourishes, despite the brassman's 81 years. This is a 2006 session for Wheeler and Taylor, plus that most elegantly musical of bass guitarists, Steve Swallow, playing 10 fresh Wheeler originals that display his familiar yet constantly retempered mix of casually-cantering swingers, camouflaged Latin dances and phlegmatic bruised ballads. Wheeler's lower-range long notes are tremulous but expressive, and his shapely double-time playing, afterthought-like resolving notes and trademark plaintive squeal still add up to an inimitable improvising style that explores an equally unique compositional vision. Wheeler sounds serenely poised amid Swallow's bouncy bass-walk and Taylor's copious and beautifully struck variations on Any How, pianist and bassist make a captivating duo exchange out of the lively Ever After, and the typically sighing slow themes of Now and Now Again and Old Ballad feature plangent Wheeler variations bathed in the brighter light of his clean upper-range phrasing. Its lyrical, low-key jazz chamber music, but much more evocative than its casual delivery might suggest.

Contributor

John Fordham

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
CD: Kenny Wheeler, Other People

(Cam-Jazz)

John Fordham

01, Feb, 2008 @12:13 AM

Article image
CD: Kenny Wheeler, It Takes Two!

(CamJazz)

John Fordham

11, Aug, 2006 @10:57 PM

Article image
Kenny Wheeler: quiet man on the cutting edge
Shy and self-effacing, Kenny Wheeler is an unlikely jazz firebrand, but his career tells a very different story, finds John Fordham

John Fordham

14, Oct, 2010 @9:15 PM

Kenny Wheeler/Colours Orchestra: Nineteen Plus One | CD review

His ­improvisations still sound like nobody else's – and his skills as a composer/­arranger seem to be blossoming afresh, says John Fordham

John Fordham

24, Sep, 2009 @11:01 PM

Article image
CD: Kenny Wheeler/ John Taylor, Where Do We Go From Here?

(CamJazz)

John Fordham

24, Sep, 2004 @1:30 AM

Kenny Wheeler, Vortex, London

Vortex, London

John Fordham

26, Mar, 2008 @12:05 AM

CD: Kenny Wheeler, Other People

(Cam-Jazz)

John Fordham

01, Feb, 2008 @12:13 AM

Article image
Kenny Wheeler & John Taylor: On the Way to Two review – a joyous collaboration
This set from two recently departed greats of European jazz is like a conversation between old friends

Dave Gelly

18, Oct, 2015 @7:00 AM

Article image
CD: Kenny Wheeler: Dream Sequence

(Psi)

John Fordham

01, Aug, 2003 @12:34 AM

Kenny Wheeler: The Long Waiting – review
This big band session of new themes and flugelhorn improvising is another essential item for followers of Britain's most reluctant jazz hero, writes John Fordham

John Fordham

26, Jan, 2012 @10:53 PM