Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Frank Kimbrough: Solstice

Editor's Pick

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

The best pianists play with a lyricism that makes fast pieces feel like ballads and an incisiveness that makes ballads feel chiseled from stone. Solstice is a ballads album, but not one thing about it is soft. It may be the best recording Frank Kimbrough has made.

A key to its realization is repertoire. Most jazz musicians today want to play their own stuff, whether they are good composers or not; the rest do standards. Kimbrough does neither. He plays one original, the tense, intriguing “Question’s the Answer.” Then he chooses six pieces from distinguished composers who are known—but only within the insular world of jazz—as conjurors of magic. Each song has a necessary place in the enveloping atmosphere of this album, which should only be played after midnight.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published