Decades of working with one another in various ensembles ultimately leads to Frank Kimbrough’s Quartet (Palmetto Records, 2014).
The pianist calls on three longtime friends for a free-spirited, straight jazz set. With Kimbrough are Steve Wilson, alto and soprano saxophones; Jay Anderson, double bass; and Lewis Nash, drums.
“The Call” opens the set. It begins in ambient fashion, with the piano playing freely out front, while bass and drums go through some loosening-up rolls. The alto sax comes in briefly, steps back, then returns for a brief lead, then gives way to the piano again. The piece has no melody to speak of. It’s mainly Kimbrough, expressing himself without confinement. Toward the end, Wilson is more expressive when he returns toward the end. Though each player appears to be doing his own thing, it all fits as they complement one another rather than compete.