Kurdish Dance

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Verve
PERFORMER: Yosuke Yamashita (p); Cecil McBee (b); Pheeroan akLaff (d) and Joe Lovano (ts)
CATALOGUE NO: POCJ-1135

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The three Americans on this session are superb performers, adept in all branches of contemporary jazz, from straight-ahead to free playing, so to provide them with material which fully utilises their talents is something of an achievement. The most obvious influence on the pianist-leader is the torrential, abstract style of Cecil Taylor, but Yamashita’s playing also effortlessly incorporates everything from a Mose Allison shuffle to the delicacy of Bill Evans without slipping into either promiscuous magpie borrowing or brash pyrotechnics.

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McBee and akLaff are perfect, subtle foils and Lovano is as huskily cultured as ever. The album is as fine a display of top-class musicianship, applied to as fascinatingly varied a set of compositions, as you’ll hear this year. Chris Parker