Bill Cunliffe Sextet

How My Heart Sings

The Music of Earl Zindars


Bill Cunliffe, piano and arrangements; Bob Sheppard, saxophones, flutes, clarinet; Bobby Shew, trumpet, flugelhorn; Joe LaBarbera, drums; Bruce Paulson, trombone; Jeff D'Angelo, bass; Justin Ray, flugelhorn

Pianist Bill Cunliffe takes to the music of Earl Zindars; an admirable but not very well known composer. Starting with "Here's To Neil", the sextet strike out in an arranged big band format, this is a beautifully interwoven piece of fine Jazz playing, complemented by a superb trumpet solo from Bobby Shew. "City Tune" again emphasises the fine arranging and quality of the instrumentalists. "Silverado Trail", a ballad played as a bossa nova has great warmth and some wonderfully close harmonic playing between flugelhorn, trombone and alto flute, with the piano of Cunliffe floating above. With, "How My Heart Sings", Cunliffe re creates the Bill Evans standard note for note; a flowing delight. "Elsa" is a lovely oozing piece with a flugelhorn lead, and "Heads or Tails" moves the time signature around (listen to the CD and try and work it out!). The melancholic piano of Cunliffe brings the album to a close with "Soiree", a beautiful, simple number. This is a tight, sophisticated sextet, Cunliffe shows what a masterful arranger he is; the music is fresh, superior and imaginative. There are no weaknesses and the band offers exciting variations of color and texture. An excellent CD.

by Ferdinand Maylin

New Sounds - November 2003 CD Reviews