THE JOHN HICKS TRIO with guest Jack Walrath:
Single Petal Of A Rose
I love the warm romantic blend of piano, flute and bass. If you love flute ballads, youll wear the aluminum off this CD. Hicks impassioned solos are superb; Walter Bookers bass adds delicate, dancing-on-tiptoes rhythms. The recording unleashes the gorgeous harmonic detail of the piano, the rich bottom-octave timbres of the bass and the breathy airiness of the flute. Stereophile says the instruments are as natural and as true to life as can be. A gentle, extremely pleasurable recordinghighly recommended. (#02532)
Single Petal of A Rose, a duet featuring veteran pianist John Hicks and flutist Elise Wood - bassist Walter Booker and trumpeter Jack Walrath join on various tracks. The individual musicianship and collective performance levels are superb. Wood possesses a full-bodied sound and Wayne Shorter's uptempo Yes Or No more than affirms her facility. And Hicks needs little introduction but to say his wonderful taste in just about any setting is grossly underappreciated. Note his solo outing, Mingus' Portrait.
Ballads are the intentional fare here and they receive lovely
readings. The title piece, Sometime Ago, Embraceable You
and A Child Is Born are balanced by two other Shorter works,
Virgo and Infant Eyes, David Murray's Ballad of
a Black Man, and Irene Higginbotham's intriguing Ghosts of
Yesterday. Wood contributed Topaz a blues that with Yes
Or No cuts through the predominant Ravel-esque evocation of
Pan in the glens.
Pianist John Hicks and flutist Elise Woods offer a disc of standards and hip jazz compositions that sit mightly lightly on the ear - both the flute and the piano are merciless, er, witches to record, yet Sprey has them as natural and true to life as can be. This repeatedly passes the jump test: if I leave the room with this baby on the player, I always spend a baffled moment on my return trying to figure out where, and when, I am - I used to live with a flute player. Sounds as big as life, and just as full of wind. Augmented by bassist Walter Booker and trumpeter Jack Walrath, the duo becomes by turns a trio and a quartet, but the recording maintains an intimate, very lifelike presence. A gentle, extremely pleasurable recording - highly recommended.