LABELS: BMG Novus
PERFORMER: John Hicks
CATALOGUE NO: 1241631412
John Hicks is a refreshing reminder that somewhere between the fashionable extremes of jazz – the young lions and the elder statesmen – there is a large repository of thirty-somethings who have reached creative maturity. They have been largely by-passed in the recording companies’ rush to record the youngest, the fastest and the most photogenic musicians.
The authority John Hicks brings to the contemporary jazz piano is immediately apparent from the opening track, ‘Hicks Tone’, while tracks like ‘True Blue’ and ‘Bopscotch’ capture his surging, dramatic exuberance. Friends old include Clark Terry on trumpet and flugelhorn, and friends new, tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman, who could well turn out to be the most significant young musician to emerge since Marsalis made his debut with Art Blakey in 1979. But Redman still has a long way to go to learn his craft; in the meantime, it is musicians like Hicks who will create the enduring albums of today. Stuart Nicholson