Jack Kilby and the Front Line are reviewed by Jazz Journal UK

Jack Kilby & The Front Line: Love Is A Song Anyone Can Sing

Jack Kilby’s JKFL is basically a straightahead jazz big band. The frontline consists of Charles Owens on tenor sax and he gets a good measure of the solo space here. John D’Earth is on trumpet and Elad Cohen the trombonist. All three are represented on the opening track, the title piece. Owens plays sinewy tenor and the rhythm section drives hard and fast.

Next on the agenda is Hipsippy Blues, a downhome soul type concoction typical of its composer Hank Mobley. D’Earth takes off on trumpet as the leader inflames the backbeat in true Jazz Messengers fashion. Pianist Johnson solos next and he too is on a Messengers kick with the ghost of Bobby Timmons standing at his elbow. The difference is that the full band are playing riffs in the background. Herbie Hancock’s A Tribute To Someone has tight ensemble work and solos bursting out from Owens, on good form here and the band in full flow.

Overall the music played is quite comprehensive, with selections from Bricusse/Newley, Hancock and Mobley from jazz, Gustav Holst from classical music and Radiohead from rock – or is it pop? Not sure about this one: Life In A Glasshouse.

Love Is A Song Anyone Can Sing; Hipsippy Blues; Pure Imagination; A Tribute To Someone; Sensitive Like Ladies; Life In A Glasshouse; Driftin’; Jupiter; Colurs Of The Wind; Pure Imagination (47.10)

Kilby (d) with large big band and string section including John D’Earth, Joe Herrera (t); Charles Owens (ts); Elad Cohen (tb); Allyn Johnson (p); Sam Blakelock (elg); Chris Monson (b); Antonio Hart (as); Mark G. Meadows (p). Springfield, 2017 & April-June 2018.


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