AN UNAPPRECIATED PIONEER…Francy Boland: Playing With The Trio

Originally recorded in Cologne, Germany back in 1967, this album/bonus cd featured the pianist Francy Boland in a rare trio setting with his co-leader Kenny Clarke/dr and Jimmy Woode Jr/b. Besides hearing the famous big band leader/arranger in a more intimate context, the real treat here is to re-discover one of the true pioneers of jazz drummer, Kenny Clarke. He’s not well known in the US because after he laid the foundation for the bebop movement along with Monk, Diz and Bird, he moved to Europe to actually make a living. How dare he!

The nine trio pieces here are sublime examples of style and taste. Boland’s clean tone gives hints of Red Garland and Bill Evans on the waltzing “Nights in Warsaw,” and delivers a sparkling collection of chords on Neil Hefti’s “Lonely Girl.” Clarke’s work behind the traps is understatedly illuminating, with gentle rumbling with percussion on “The Girl and the Turk” and some deft brush work on”Dierdre’s Blues” that intermingles with Woode’s bass. On “I’m All Smiles” he sashays his brushes underneath Boland’s porcelain single note runs, and gets bluesy with Woode on “Gamal Sady’n’em.” Tons of satisfaction by a forgotten jazz giant.

Schema Rearward Records

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