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Angel Song
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Kenny Wheeler (trumpet, flugelhorn); Lee Konitz (saxophone); Bill Frisell (guitar); Dave Holland (bass).
  • Recorded at Power Station, New York, New York in February 1996.
  • This drummer-less quartet recording is a joy from beginning to end. This is a brilliantly matched foursome. Kenny Wheeler has worked with bassist Dave Holland regularly over the decades, with both musicians appearing on numerous titles by each other. His trumpet and flugelhorn play with and around the alto saxophone of Lee Konitz, as they dart around the shimmering architecture of Bill Frisell's guitar (in much the same way that Wheeler's tone soared in and around the piano of Keith Jarrett's on the classic GNU HIGH album from 1976). The absence of percussion, as well as Frisell's presence, give much of this music a folk-like bearing and a feeling of utter timelessness. Wheeler's writing is deft and always subtle, yielding rich rewards and a strong emotional presence.
Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (2/14/97, p.63) - "...ANGEL SONG is a fluid, lyrical, empathetic gathering of players, each revered on his respective instrument....These kindred, introspective spirits proceed to make music of a lofty order." - Rating: A-

Down Beat (4/97, p.49) - 4.5 Stars (out of 5) - "...One gets the impression that Wheeler's genius for arranging was in fact driven by these particular musicians, who alone were to be the vehicles for this very soulful music. Everyone and everything has its place in this recording."

Option (5-6/97, p.140) - "To the general jazz audience, [Kenny Wheeler] is still sorely underrated....[saxophonist Lee Konitz's] trademark sound blends seamlessly with Wheeler's rhapsodic flugelhorn..."
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