Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Chris Ziemba, Manhattan Lullaby

Chris Ziemba is an excellent pianist in what one might call the post-Evans school. That means he plays a sophisticated, harmonically advanced, creatively voiced, line-prolific sort of piano. His Manhattan Lullaby (Outside In Music 1602) shows his considerable abilities and artistic flair with a set of nicely moving originals (plus a standard) and a very compatible and worthy quartet in Michael Thomas on alto and bass clarinet, Hans Glawischnig on bass and Jimmy Macbride on drums.

This is the right combination for Ziemba and his approach, and they all come together well to realize a fine set. Thomas is limber and well suited for the shifting harmonies and swing of the pieces as a whole. Glawischnig and Macbride are a potent rhythm section that complement the proceedings with smarts and soul, creative solutions and flexibly open stances.

Ziemba and his prowess, Ziemba and his memorable originals, these combine to make this set special and well out of the ordinary. Chris gets ravishing touch and tone to flesh out his ideas with pianistic brilliance.

And so we have one of those albums that stands out increasingly with every new hearing. Chris Ziemba is a force; the quartet takes you to excellent places. A modern gem of an album is this!

Hoorah and encore!

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