Only a few weeks ago, I went to a record store in my neighborhood. Wandering here and there among the shelves, I heard music that tickled my ear. I heard a guitar sound that instantly piqued my curiosity. I tried to guess who this musician was? Finally, I went to the reception to find an answer to this important question.
The part that troubled me was entitled “Nonetheless”. It comes from the latest Kenny Wheeler album. This is a posthumous disc entitled “Songs for Quintet”. The mysterious guitarist of this session is John Parricelli. No doubt, this is a name not to forget. I confess he is the one who made me want to buy the album immediately.
This music provides an autumnal atmosphere, the nine Kenny Wheeler compositions are enhanced by a very efficient quintet. The recording session took place in December 2013, a few months before his death. It is officially his last album. One more reason to listen to the music of this great Canadian composer.
The tenor saxophonist Stan Sulzmann, veteran of the British jazz scene, takes charge of the melodic lines with assurance. Wheeler with his flugelhorn is more discreet, he blows in harmony and then lets the other musicians express themselves. We will never be able to find any flaw in Chris Laurence’s playing or Martin France’s rhythms on drums. Great art for music lovers! I think Kenny Wheeler likes the sound of the guitar, because it is often present — we can only be very pleased about that. John Parricelli astonishes and surprises us with his style and his ideas. He “often sets the stage” for his friends to let them express themselves with ease.
Neither sad nor melancholy, this is simply satisfying soulful music.
Line up : Kenny Wheeler (bugle) ; Stan Sulzmann (saxophone ténor) ; John Parricelli (guitare); Chris Laurence (contrebasse) ; Martin France (batterie).