Frank Kimbrough: Lullabluebye

Frank Kimbrough is a linchpin of the New York-based Jazz Composers Collective, a communal musical organization that draws on the strengths of its members to bring original perspectives to contemporary jazz. Lullabluebye (Palmetto) captures the razor sharp pianist alongside two JCC associates, bassist Ben Allison and drummer Matt Wilson. The three read each other like the old friends and musical partners they are, and their familiarity and intuitive approach to improvised form accounts in large part for the album’s success. Another factor is Kimbrough’s persuasive writing, which offsets melodic polish with plenty of room for spontaneous interaction. (Allison also contributes the fine and aptly named “Ben’s Tune”). A ringer, John Barry’s theme from the James Bond hit You Only Live Twice, gets a lovely straight-up rendition that proves that Kimbrough also recognizes a good tune when he hears one.