Ron Brendle


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This is the initial encounter on record for North Carolina bass player Ron Brendle and pianist Frank Kimbrough. They would get together several more times in the future but, even with this first meeting, it was clear there was a symbiotic bonding between the two. Kimbrough, generally noted for his hard bop, fits right in with the creative tension and tumult, the themes established for this set. There's a touch of the bop orientation on a slightly up-tempo version of Thelonious Monk's "Let's Cool One," where the pianist shares the stage with some excellent individual bass playing by Brendle while the lightly grazed drums of James Baker keep the music moving. The trio is augmented from time to time by the tenor sax of David Lail on such cuts as "Leaving," a tune by another modern jazz performer, Richie Beirach. Lail's tenor has an alto quality to it. But the highlight of this track is Kimbrough's craggy, angular harmonic doings on the piano in counterpoint with Lail and Baker's continuous drumming. The agitation comes in on such tunes as a demanding, intrusive "Parkinglot People," with Kimbrough thrusting at, rather than playing, the piano, and Lail slipping in and out with exciting improvisational statements on tenor, creating a hectic conversation with Kimbrough. Meanwhile, Brendle and Baker egg on the combatants. Brendle has a pleasant melodic interlude on this otherwise musically disturbing piece. All the music on this set is modern and/or original -- no fooling around with any standards here. Given this agenda, the playing is the paramount of creative extemporizing order. Recommended.

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