Kenny Wheeler's string of ECM recordings are all quite rewarding, generally avoiding the ECM stereotype of introspective long tones and silence. A fiery but thoughtful trumpeter whose style can range from advanced swinging to sound explorations, Wheeler is joined on this excellent set by tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker, pianist John Taylor, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette. They perform a set of Wheeler's originals and each of the world class musicians has an opportunity to be featured.
This two-disc set is a dazzling look at Kenny Wheeler's work as a composer. His breadth is stunning, from moody Oliver Nelson and Gil Evans-like expansiveness to compactly propulsive post-bop excursions. The first disc is taken up entirely with the eight-part "Sweet Time Suite." Wheeler's scoring is bracing and emotive. Singer Norma Winstone is on hand for portions of it, offering a gloriously soaring counterpoint to the massed horn section. Wheeler's diverse background serves him well, as he's quite comfortable with both the traditional and the avant-garde (he worked in one of Anthony Braxton's important combos in the mid-'70s). For anyone unfamiliar with this stellar musician's work, this is is an excellent starting point, as is his first album as a leader, the remarkable GNU HIGH.
Kenny Wheeler has long been a talented composer, improviser, and soloist, though he is still overlooked by some jazz fans because most of his work has been issued by European labels. Among the composers of his generation, Wheeler is one of the best, along with the late Bob Brookmeyer, in writing and scoring creative works for a large ensemble. For this session, Wheeler's charts are performed by a 17-piece big band – with the addition of Diana Torto's wordless vocals – conducted by Pete Churchill.
When Kenny Wheeler expatriated from his native Canada to England, it was not headline news. But upon the release of Gnu High, he became a contemporary jazz figure to be recognized, revered and admired. Playing the flugelhorn exclusively for this, his ECM label debut, Wheeler's mellifluous tones and wealth of ideas came to full fruition. Whether chosen in collaboration with label boss Manfred Eicher or by Wheeler alone, picking pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette was a stroke of genius. They support the elongated and extended notions of Wheeler's in many real and important ways.
In its ongoing series of reissues under the Double Time Jazz Collection moniker, Eagle Eye Media has put together two tribute shows on one DVD that demonstrate how a conception that is reverent yet forward-thinking can work wonderfully in one instance, and somewhat less-so in another. Tribute to John Coltrane: Live Under the Sky is an almost relentless, take-no-prisoners homage to Coltrane that works because it tries to take his music to a new place that is nevertheless respectful of its roots. Tribute to Bill Evans: Live at the Brewhouse is less successful because, while the musicianship is uniformly excellent, the lineage to Evans is less direct.
Me and You is the third album released by country music singer Kenny Chesney. It was released in 1996. Although its lead-off single "Back in My Arms Again" failed to make Top 40, the album's title track and "When I Close My Eyes" both reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts in 1996. The title track was reprised from Chesney's previous album. "Back Where I Come From" is a cover of Mac McAnally's 1990 single from his album Simple Life, while "When I Close My Eyes" had been recorded by Restless Heart lead singer Larry Stewart on his 1993 debut album Down the Road, and by Keith Palmer before that. "It's Never Easy To Say Goodbye" had been recorded by singer Wynonna Judd on her eponymous debut album.