Jonny_king-meltdown_span3
December 1997

Jonny King
The Meltdown
Enja Records

Pianist and composer King defies neat classification since his eclectic stylings open the spectral varieties of versatile expression. Is he a chameleon? Consider how Chick Corea alternates his performance settings; King does so with a wider range, and there's no point in faulting this when so much musical history is at one's disposal. The success of any approach to composition or setting should fulfill its intrinsic visions and designs. Jonny King does admire Hancock and Tyner, lending Tyner's "For Tomorrow" as many appropriate left-hand harmonies just as for his own "The Meltdown" and "Cochambamba," ably assisted by rhythm mates Larry Grenadier and Billy Drummond. Then unaccompanied for Bud Powell's "So Sorry Please" and with altoist Steve Wilson on the Monkish "Blues For Andrew Hill," he reflects the indomitable spirits of those masters. Tenorist David Sanchez offers urgent occasional performances, and while percussionist Milton Cardona asserts his skills, the listed trombonist Steve Davis is a mystery.

Originally published in December 1997
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