Sonny Greenwich / Kenny Wheeler

Live at the Montreal Bistro

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Fans of Kenny Wheeler may be a bit excited at the possibility of hearing the adventurous trumpeter performing such standards as "I Love You" and "Summertime" when they see this CD, but they will be disappointed. Although it does not say so anywhere, Wheeler is not on either song. In fact, it is quite surprising that Wheeler is listed first on this outing, for this is largely a pair of dates showcasing guitarist Sonny Greenwich, with the trumpeter (who contributed only "Gentle Piece" of the six numbers) in a supportive role. The first two selections are from 1993 with Joe LaBarbera on drums, while the remaining four are from four years later with Barry Elmes in the slot; all of the numbers also include pianist Don Thompson and bassist Jim Vivian. "Gentle Piece" and much of "Memories of Miles" and "For Kenny Wheeler" are melancholy and thoughtful, with few sparks lit. However, the rhythm section is quite alert, and Greenwich is in excellent form here, particularly on the two standards, sometimes recalling the straight-ahead players of the 1960s. Recommended primarily to Sonny Greenwich collectors.

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