Frank Kimbrough is joined by two fellow veterans, bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Matt Wilson, for these intimate performances at the Kitano, a jazz venue for listeners. Although the three musicians work together on occasion (Anderson is busy in a number of groups, while Wilson has a busy solo career and is a first-call drummer for gigs and record dates) and did not specifically prepare songs for this booking, they sound like a regularly working band. Kimbrough's mysterious "Helix" proves to be an introspective opener, followed by a playful, laid-back exploration of Oscar Pettiford's "Blues in the Closet," with Anderson taking advantage of the spotlight. Paul Motian's haunting ballad "Arabesque" has an emotional impact, elegant with a sense of loss. Kimbrough's impressionistic rendition of Duke Ellington's gem from "The Queen's Suite," "Single Petal of a Rose," features Anderson playing the melody as the leader provides a lush, improvised background. The pianist's joyful bop vehicle "Falling Waltz" is yet another highlight, as is his demanding, off-center "Hymn."
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden