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Pianist Frank Kimbrough at his best is stunning


Frank Kimbrough, "Solstice" (Pirouet).

Frank Kimbrough is a singular 60-year old jazz pianist who, at his best, is capable of a rare sublimity and gorgeousness. On this disc, for instance, there's a version of Gerswhin's "Here Comes the Honey Man" which is almost up there in ravishment with Miles Davis and Gil Evans on their "Porgy and Bess" record.

This is a trio record by the pianist with the Maria Schneider Orchestra, so fondly remembered from its appearance in the Albright-Knox Art of Jazz series. Among Kimbrough's first official acts when he arrived as a professional musician in New York years ago was to soak up as much as he could from Herbie Nichols and Andrew Hill, two landmark musicians not exactly on every jazz pianist's list of those to check in with or apprentice to. That makes his a very special kind of lyrical abstraction among jazz pianists. At its best, stunning.

3 stars (out of four)


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