Cherryco ... CD Steeplechase (Denmark), 2017. New Copy ...
A beautifully unique take on the music of Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman – served up here by a trio that features KirkKnuffke on cornet, Jay Anderson on bass, and Adam Nussbaum on drums! The tunes are all classic Cherry or Coleman compositions – but the performance here is very different, with a robust quality that comes not just from the deeper range of the cornet, but also from the bold work on drum and bass – which still keeps things in that rompingly rhythmic mode of the group that Cherry and Coleman had together, but maybe both a bit more open in terms of the groove – and more focused on the one lead solo instrument. Knuffke's really opened up the sound of others in the past – but this record might well be his greatest achievement so far – as you'll hear on titles that include "Roland Alphonso", "The Sphinx", "Jayne", "Song In D", "Mind & Time", "Cherryco", "Golden Heart", "Paris Ambulance Song", and "Angel Voice". CD
KirkKnuffke & Jesse Stacken —
Satie ... CD Steeplechase (Denmark), 2016. New Copy ...
A beautiful jazz-based take on the music of Erik Satie – one that really lives up to the spare spirit of the original compositions, but also opens the tunes up with a bit more soul as well! Jesse Stacken plays piano – with all the light touch and spacious presentation Satie intended for the music – while KirkKnuffke blows cornet, often with an equally light, open touch – shading in the melodies in really gentle ways, but with a great deal of beauty – unlocking even more sentiment than is originally in the songs – and if you know the work of Satie, you know that's saying a lot! The music is beautiful – maybe one of the best extrapolations of Satie we've ever heard, on a par with some of the Nato Records experiments in the 80s – and titles include "Vexations", "Trois Gynopedies", "Six Gnossiennes", "Sarabande No 1", and "Petite Ouverture A Danser". CD
Guitarist Pierre Dorge has been giving us amazing music for many years – but he sounds especially amazing here in the company of a really great group – the excellent KirkKnuffke on cornet, plus Stephen Riley on tenor, Conrad Herwig on trombone, Jay Anderson on bass, and Adam Nussbaum on drums – all very dynamic players who seem to make Dorge sound even fresher than ever! There's an especially strong sense of phrasing on the record – no surprise, especially with Knuffke in the mix – and while Pierre can sometimes use his instrument in more abstract ways, that quality is really balanced by all the other members of the lineup. Anderson's bass is great – nicely pointed at the best moments, and a great contrast to Dorge's strings – and all tracks are originals, with titles that include "Lullaby For Sun Ra", "Mingus' Birthday Party", "Afrikaa Mbizo Dyani", "Sim Sim Ba", and "Alligator In Paradise". CD