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Frank Kimbrough/Joe Locke: The Willow

There is a fascinating duality on these two CDs. Pianist Frank Kimbrough is the breed of artist who is so versatile, so exploratory that he can sound like George Winston on steroids one moment and Keith Jarrett the next. That’s how different these CDs are in their approach to contemporary jazz. The Willow is bucolic and tends to be timeless; Quickening hard-edged and very much New York today. Taken together, they form a portrait of the artist ready to explode in all directions at once.

Kimbrough, one of the founding fathers of New York’s Jazz Composers Collective, currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, teamed up with a kindred soul, vibraphonist Joe Locke, for The Willow. While it is basically a duo effort, there is some valuable input from reed player Tim Ries and percussionist Jeff Ballard.

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