Johannes Wallmann – The Town Musicians

It doesn’t get much better than this. A mid-size ensemble and excellent composition, courtesy of pianist Johannes Wallmann and The Town Musicians (2015).

Accompanying Wallman are his decade-long trio partners, Sean Conly, bass; and Jeff Hirshfield, drums. Trumpeter Russ Johnson and guitarist Gilad Hekselman also contribute. And tenor saxophonist Dayna Stephens sits in on a couple of tracks.

Some songs score points just for titles alone. “Water Music (for People Without Aquariums)” opens the set. Stephens joins Johnson and Wallmann for the blended melody. It’s an ambient, laid-back piece. It’s perfect for gazing upon a lake or river, or watching the aquatic life in case you do have an aquarium. After the opening sequence, Stephens takes the tenor on a leisurely tour, at times going through some rapid-fire rolls. Then it’s Wallmann’s turn. The listener’s imagination is on split-screen view, with one eyeing boaters and swimmers, while the other monitors fish. It’s a beautifully written and performed selection.

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