Six for Six
Kenny Wheeler convened an all-star British band for this album, recorded back in April 2008 at Bauer Studios in Ludwigsburg, Germany. For the occasion, the Canadian-born, English by adoption, trumpet and flugelhorn player lined up Stan Salzmann, on tenor and soprano sax, Bobby Wellins on tenor sax, John Taylor on piano, Chris Laurence on double bass and Martin France on drums. This is a Kenny Wheeler, who, at the time of the recording, was almost 80 years old and yet still brilliant and elegant. The album opens with a classic "call and response", with wind and brass pursuing each other, calling to each other and interacting. After this we hear clear reference to music by Miles or arrangements by Gil Evans, with a Wheeler who puts himself on a par with as his recording colleagues, choosing to not set himself up in a soloist role, but also not remain in the background, to let the others improvise on his themes.