Kenny Wheeler – Deer Wan (1978/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 43:45 minutes | 1,49 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Booklet, Front Cover | © ECM Records
Recorded: July 1977 at Talent Studio, Oslo
Born in Toronto in 1930 but based in England from 1952, Kenny Wheeler was by the late 1960s a highly regarded figure on the London scene, living a sort of double life – as a post-bop trumpeter and flugelhorn player inspired by Clifford Brown and Art Farmer and as a pioneering free player moving into unexplored territory alongside improvisers such as John Stevens, Evan Parker, Dave Holland and Derek Bailey.
Jazz tradition and free experimentation would intermingle in Wheeler’s palette as player and composer. As he put it, “the free stuff relaxed my conventional playing and the conventional playing gave shape to my free soloing,” and ideas discovered in improvising, especially a fondness for intervallic leaps, were subsequently deployed in his pieces. He cited Duke Ellington, Gil Evans and Stan Kenton as formative influences on his writing but also listened closely to classical and contemporary composition; Paul Hindemith was another key influence.
Melody was the core of his own writing, and he always found new ways to frame it, harmonically and rhythmically. In terms of emotional atmosphere, he found melancholy cheering. “Sad music makes me feel happy,” he said. “My favourite people in jazz are the ones who sound a bit sad. Billie Holiday, Miles Davis.” His recorded legacy includes albums now regarded as contemporary jazz classics such as Gnu High, Deer Wan, Music For Large And Small Ensembles and Angel Song.
His 1978 masterpiece Deer Wan was engineered by Jan Erik Kongshaug and finds wheeler working with top shelf musicians like Jan Garbarek (saxophone), John Abercrombie (guitar/mandolin), Dave Holland (bass), Ralph Towner (12-string guitar), and Jack DeJohnette (drums). Featuring four original smooth Wheeler compositions, three of which clock in at over 10-minutes, Deer Wan is both lyrical and romantic in all the right places.
Kenny Wheeler’s beautiful sound on trumpet and his wide range are well-displayed on his four compositions, three of which are given performances over ten minutes long. With the assistance of ECM regulars Jan Garbarek (on tenor and soprano), guitarist John Abercrombie, bassist Dave Holland, drummer Jack DeJohnette and (on one song) guitarist Ralph Towner, Wheeler emphasizes lyricism and romantic moods on this fine set of original music. –AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow
1. Peace for Five 16:28
2. 3/4 in the Afternoon 05:47
3. Sumother Song 11:25
4. Deer Wan 10:04
Kenny Wheeler, trumpet, fluegelhorn
Jan Garbarek, saxophones
John Abercrombie, electric guitar, electric mandolin
Dave Holland, bass
Jack DeJohnette, drums
Ralph Towner, 12-string guitar (#2)