Kirk Knuffke has played in all sorts of contexts, so a trio is nothing unusual for the cornetist. What makes Arms & Hands distinctive, though, is his choice of bandmates. Bassist Mark Helias comes from a more adventurous (and prolific) background (Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor) while drummer Bill Goodwin has been a straight-ahead player (a long relationship with Phil Woods, and time with Dexter Gordon and Bill Evans). Having worked with both in separate groups, Knuffke rightly believed that compatibility would exist between them, combining a solid rhythmic foundation and melodic/harmonic freedom. With guest appearances on nearly half of the 15 tracks by Brian Drye (trombone), Daniel Carter (alto saxophone) or Jeff Lederer (soprano and tenor saxophone), the album proves Knuffke right in a series of brief but complete originals and one off-the-board interpretation.
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