Tim Harrison, piano; John Eckert, trumpet, flugelhorn; Dave Rickenberg, tenor sax, soprano sax; Tom Hubbard (b); Grisha Alexiev (d); Dee McMillen, vocals - tracks 2/4/6:
ar.ia; The Judge Is Like The Owl; Tim's Confirmation; The Saddest Noise; The Sweetest Noise; Hog Wedding; ..Till All The Churchyard Rang; Half Coyote; Mr Oddsocks; Sunna (58.46) NYC Jan 2001
The musicianship is immaculate, the arrangements and improvisations are excellent and the vocals based upon Emily Dickensonís writings are wonderfully performed. This fine work of art is a clever wedding of Modern Jazz with Dee's interpretation of America's cherished poet.
Tim's sparkling piano playing has an element of Eighteenth Century Drawing Room tied in with current Modern Jazz techniques. The other players are obviously well-schooled - I noted in particular the high standard of Grisha Alexiev's drumming along with many other subtleties in this CD. I also note the strong bass playing of Tom Hubbard and the fine trumpet and tenor solos ñ the soprano is still an ill wind I find hard to take.
This interpretation is beautifully expressed but I suspect it will appeal only to a select few. I will certainly look out for any other recordings of this band.
An interesting concept, which deserves investigation.
by Al Merritt