Kenny Wheeler

What Now?

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Four complementary post-bop giants combine their talents on this set of original music, written and played by 74-year-old Kenny Wheeler. Wheeler, whose trumpet chops are still in their prime, sticks to fl├╝gelhorn throughout. Although his eight originals are performed at a variety of tempos, there is always a feeling of wistful melancholy, an emotion also expressed by the great young tenor saxophonist Chris Potter, pianist John Taylor (who sometimes recalls Keith Jarrett a little), and the always solid and inventive bassist Dave Holland. This music generally takes its time yet never becomes sleepy or overly predictable, because the players listen closely to each other and often think as one. Although the program would have benefited from the inclusion of a barnburner for variety, What Now? succeeds as both background mood music and a thoughtful set of inventive jazz.

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