Bill Kirchner

Some Enchanted Evening

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A fine soprano saxophonist, Bill Kirchner was knocked out of action in 1993 when a spinal tumor was discovered. Fortunately, he has since recovered and returned to playing. This duet set, which was finally released for the first time in 1997, features Kirchner in 1986 interacting with either Marc Copland, Michael Abene, or Harold Danko on piano. Kirchner, who switches to clarinet on "Rock Skippin' at the Blue Note" and "I Almost Said Goodbye," has a tone on soprano that is a little reminiscent of Steve Lacy, although his choice of notes is his own. While most of the songs on this set are standards (Kirchner contributed the final two compositions), with the majority being ballads, the improvising is generally unpredictable. The melodies are kept in mind, but sometimes the chord structures are drastically altered or temporarily tossed out. Most importantly, Kirchner communicates very well with his pianists and their interactions are full of joy and subtle surprises. All in all, this is Bill Kirchner's best small group recording, a set that really showcases his creative and lyrical playing.

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