by Luke Baumgarten and Michael Bowen & r & Kenny Wheeler, & lt;a href= & quot;http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=rQy1MLe70wI & amp;offerid=78941.456465296 & amp;type=10 & amp;subid= & quot; & What Now? & lt;/a & ***** & r & The best of several conversations between Kenny Wheeler (flugelhorn) and Chris Potter (tenor sax) on What Now? arrives in "For Tracy," which Wheeler opens with a lovely anthem that Potter echoes in a slower tempo. After each has tinkered with the notes in a second solo, they join hands in bittersweet unison -- assembling together what neither could construct alone. From the beginning of the opening track, "Iowa City," the two horn players are questing in counterpoint, with the theme's reprise at the end revised, then dwindling into unresolvability. The title tune features hypnotic interweaving of the two horns -- first one horn leading, then the other in a tentative, mournful melody -- while the rhythm players provide minimalist undergirding.
Wheeler, who has been playing sporadically with Dave Holland (bass) and John Taylor (piano) for nearly 40 years, teams up well with Potter (who's only 34) in this CamJazz session of eight original Wheeler compositions for drum-less quartet.
The answer to Wheeler's title question? Some of the year's best jazz. & align= & quot;right & quot; & -- Michael Bowen & lt;/p &
Architecture in Helsinki, & lt;a href= & quot;http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=rQy1MLe70wI & amp;offerid=78941.456465298 & amp;type=10 & amp;subid= & quot; &
In Case We Die & lt;/a & ***** & r & Architecture in Helsinki's second album, In Case We Die, has everything you need to screw up your 5-year-old for life. Each song -- poppy and precious -- gives off a misbegotten PBS Kids vibe that might be mistaken for the real thing.
They handle adultery like Sesame Street's Count ("It's Five"); they deal with death's inevitability like Mr. Rogers ("The Cemetary"). They embrace musical styles and instruments like David Byrne at a World Music convention, then mash it all up like a toddler with finger paints.
After a while, delirium sets in and AiH begin to sound like They Might Be Giants, re-envisioned for ought-5 and stacked with a dozen or so Australian multi-instrumentalists.
Each song finds five or six of the most infectious melodies you'll ever hear. If I've counted right, that's like 60 or 70 types of infection, making them the top-40 sensation of some parallel universe where self-seriousness never happened, and where it's OK to make breathless, unselfconscious, ebullient pop.
Maybe your toddler can learn something after all. & align= & quot;right & quot; & -- Luke Baumgarten & lt;/p &