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Frances Knight

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Reviews of Frances Knight

 

01/03/2007 Peter Quinn

Featuring five originals (four from pianist Knight and one from saxman Booth) plus a nicely contrasted trio of covers - Dietz/Schwartz's 'Alone together', Astor Piazzola's 'Oblivion' and Bobbie Gentry's Ode to Bille Joe' - this eight-track collection is jam-packed with memorable themes and commanding soloing. With its economy of means, the opener 'Upstream' has something of a Garbarek/Jarrett ECM date about it. The ecstatic, hymnal opening of 'Alone Together' and the tumultuous solo from Booth that follows are both standout moments. Pianist Knight displays an exquisite touch, nowhere more so than the limpid, beautifully articulated melodic tendrils that punctuate 'Cricri' and her rock solid comping in 'Transylvania Jive'. Showing her versatility, the pianist dons the bandoneon for one of Piazzola's most memorable tangos, 'Oblivion', which is given a reading of palpable honesty here. The four-page CD booklet is a little threadbare, but this is a minor quibble about what is otherwise a terrific record.

 

01/01/2007 Peter Martin

At first sight, you might be misled into thinking that this is just another coventional quartet, with Paul Booth's saxophone joined by Frances Knight on piano, Alex Keen on bass and drummer Vince Clarke. But hearing this absorbing CD will soon dispel any notions that there's anything routine about it. In fact, My Dream Kitchen is very much a collective effort in which the empathy amongst the musicians is evident throughout. Paul Booth, for example on boht tenor and soprano saxophones, is a fluent and melodic improviser, - but far from imposing his ideas on the ensemble, his contributions emerge seamlessly from it, and there is a strong sense of an ongoing dialogue amongst the players. Similarly, Frances Knight, who contributes four original pieces to this set, is a compelling soloist, yet one whose work seems to develop in ways which both maintain that dialogue and contribute greatly to it. A fresh look at two standards, plus a piece by Astor Piazzola and an atmospheric original - visions' by Paul Booth - complete a highly engaging CD with a notable 'feelgood' factor.

 

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