Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, New Age, Pop, Classical
Canadian-born, English-bred trumpeter and fluegelhorn player Kenny Wheeler has been a mainstay of Germany's ECM Records since the mid-'70s. Aside from his own recordings as a leader, Wheeler has performed as part of the ba... more »
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Canadian-born, English-bred trumpeter and fluegelhorn player Kenny Wheeler has been a mainstay of Germany's ECM Records since the mid-'70s. Aside from his own recordings as a leader, Wheeler has performed as part of the bands Azimuth and the Dave Holland Quintet, and recorded as a sideman with Bill Frisell, Ralph Towner, and the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. A self-described "musical schizophrenic," Wheeler tends to split his recordings into two distinct styles: romantic, mainstream acoustic recordings bearing the stylistic imprint of Miles Davis and Art Farmer; and more modern, frenetic electric dates influenced by Don Cherry. This 1977 quintet date falls into the latter category. Matched on the frontline by Norwegian saxophonist and ECM stalwart Jan Garbarek, Wheeler is supported by an all-star rhythm section of guitarist John Abercrombie, bassist Dave Holland, and drummer Jack DeJohnette. Despite its relatively small size, the group's synthesis of ECM's stark, ethereal sound and the lessons in electronic improvisation laid down by Miles Davis on In a Silent Way are big-voiced and robust. Wheeler's performance on the album, which runs the gamut here from the melancholy to the brash, is among his best. --Fred Goodman
Forgotten masterpiece anyone?
Stephen Quinn | Huntington Beach, Ca | 02/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Glad to see I'm not the only one who still finds this album to be extraordinary. Even by Kenny Wheeler's standard of brilliant, evocative writing and exemplary musicianship, this stands alone. I got this album when I was immersed in late '70s ECM style jazz, much of it chaotic and dated sounding now. But there were also works of piercing beauty and if you were ever a fan of that style, this represents a sort of dream team. Names like Garbarek, DeJohnette, Abercrombie, and Towner speak for themselves. Kenny Wheeler always places the tune above mere technique, the song is never sacrificed in endless, self-absorbed noodling. And what tunes! By turns sprightful, moody and ever wistful, marked by his soaring use of call and response.
Even after almost 30 years, this remains the most perfect jazz album I've ever heard. If you like this, seek out George Adams' Sound Suggestions, also on ECM. It's got KW and he contributes the best of the songs."
Mortrude Sluurp | Poughkeepsie, NY | 02/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wheeler's Deer Wan is perhaps the best showcase for his dual talents of writing and playing. The melodies are stunning and Wheeler gives his sidemen ample room to stretch. He's assembled a Who's Who from the ECM stable: Richie Beirach, John Abercrombie, Ralph Towner & others. The rich orchestrations support the tunes with perfect touches throughout. The soloing on 3/4 in the Afternoon by Wheeler is itself worth the price of the CD. Wheeler's heartfelt take on the melody floats above his accompaniment, building a head of emotion as it reaches its final statement. Anything but 'wan!' Six stars!"
Shrik Pattni | Perth, Australia | 03/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must confess I had never heard of Kenny Wheeler until I heard him on Fellini Jazz, a project lead by Italian piano virtuoso Enrico Pieranunzi capturing the aura of Fellini's cinematic achievements. On an album that read like the who's who of modern Jazz, Wheeler's name was the only one on the list unknown to me. My investigations led me to find this album....
Record label ECM's trademark contemporary sound shines through the exploits of this very underrated and prodigal trumpeter. The music with its crisp floating ambience seems reminiscent of spacious winter landscapes, if visualisation could be a metaphor. Jan Garbarek is the perfect foil for this man, and minimalism in music is portrayed in its finest light through the never ageing Paul Motian. Would be nice to see the likes of Tord Gustavsen on a future venture. Otherwise a defining album for me in the genre.