* 180 gram yellow audiophile vinyl* This is a much better album than the title might suggest. Wilen still has the blend of tasteful restraint and inventiveness which marked his memorable duet with Miles Davis for the soundtrack of L’Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud and the second track here reprises some of that music. The sixth track seems to offer more but the Generique credited to Davis is actually the Benny Golson composition which opened the Jazz Messengers’ soundtrack for Des Femmes Disparaissent. The other pieces are a mixture of familiar and less well-known themes concluding with Mal Waldron’s beautiful Quiet Temple.
Waldron is the other star of this album and plays so well that he almost upstages Wilen. The pianist’s current style lies somewhere between Monk and John Lewis and leaves plenty of space for bass and drums which James and Moore fill impeccably. Both Waldron and Wilen eschew clichés and flashy facility so that their commitment combined with a sensitive choice of tempos and the use of soprano on a couple of tracks has produced a varied and satisfying programme (recorded, if the date given is correct, less than a month before it reached us for review).