Ron Enyard/Paul Plummer: Driving Music Vol. 2

Five of the six tracks on this CD are by a quintet including Al Kiger, flugelhorn; Paul Plummer, tenor sax; Charlie Wilson, piano; Lou Lausche, bass; and Ron Enyard, drums. They were cut live in 1991, along with other selections issued on an earlier volume. The other cut is a 28-minute unaccompanied performance by Wilson.

These guys work in Cincinnati and Indiana. Al Kiger and Paul Plummer played with Cincinnatian George Russell, briefly in the Sixties, then dropped out of the national scene. That’s unfortunate, as they were and remain original, creative players. Kiger’s style seems a cross between Miles Davis’ and Don Cherry’s. Plummer’s work seems rooted in both the Rollins and Coltrane schools. They’re both thoughtful improvisers who avoid cliches and make fresh note choices.

Wilson’s a demonic soloist; he sounds like a mad scientist or the Phantom of the Opera playing jazz. He’s got excellent chops, plays a lot of notes, and sounds like a cross of Wynton Kelly, Bud Powell, Art Tatum, Rachmaninoff, Debussy and Bartok. Wilson brings off this odd combination of genres, often performing percussively and dissonantly, but also with coherence. He’s got a nice sense of textural and dynamic contrast. He, Enyard and Lausche make a strong, propulsive rhythm section, and Lausche solos well; he’s improved his chops significantly in the past twenty years.