Frank Kimbrough Trio

"The piano trio has always been my favorite way of expressing myself," says Kimbrough; "the looseness of the format allows for spontaneous music-making, so that every performance is a new experience." Frank's trio has delighted audiences with performances in the US, Europe and Brazil.

Frank Kimbrough is represented by Orange Grove Artists

New York Times review of Frank Kimbrough Trio with Paul Motian and Jay Anderson at Birdland, NYC

"Though he is capable of playing jazz's syncopated language, he does not depend on it. Part of Mr. Kimbrough's originality takes the form of an almost passive or Zenlike approach."
Ben Ratliff, The New York Times

"...crystalline piano playing..." Terry Teachout, TIME

"The second week of January was one of phenomenal piano trios....However, Frank Kimbrough's (with bassist Ben Allison and drummer Matt Wilson) - one of the most subtle and challenging while swinging and accessible working threesomes - stole the spotlight for their single-night at Sweet Rhythm. Never a monotonous moment, they embellished without hesitation, thrusting momentum forward with occasional collective pauses allowing for single notes or beats to breathe just long enough to add an ever-elastic tension. Creativity (is) noticeably at the heart of this ever-musical, dynamic, and underrated trio"
Laurence Donohue-Greene, All About Jazz New York, Feb. 2005

Frank Kimbrough Trio: Live at Kitano

1. Helix (Kimbrough)
2. Blues In The Closet (Pettiford)
3. Arabesque (Motian)
4. Dusk (Hill)
5. Single Petal Of A Rose (Ellington)
6. Falling Waltz (Kimbrough)
7. Lover Man (Davis/Sherman/Ramirez)
8. Hymn (Kimbrough)

Frank Kimbrough - piano
Jay Anderson - double bass
Matt Wilson - drums

Top 10 Albums of 2012 (all genres) - David Hajdu, The New Republic
Best 10 Jazz Albums of 2012 - Fred Kaplan - Slate, Stereophile
Best Albums of 2012 (all genres) - Ted Gioia,
Top 10 Jazz albums of 2012 - James Hale,
Top 10 Jazz albums of 2012 - Redwood Jazz Alliance - North Coast Journal
Top 10 Jazz albums of 2012 - Owen Cordle, JazzTimes, Raleigh News and Observer

“One of the most important jazz piano improvisers of our time.”
Midwest Record

"Even if you’re a fan of piano trios, there’s a chance you’ve slept on Frank Kimbrough, who may be one of the most challenging practitioners of the form but is also one of the stealthiest. As I wrote in my review of Rumors, his impromptu 2010 album, he is a master of making penetrating statements with small, informal gestures. He likes understatement and surprise in equal measure.
On his new album, Live at Kitano, recorded at the New York club, Kimbrough is actually in one of his more outgoing moods. But in the stellar company of bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Matt Wilson, he still asserts himself with powerful understatement. It doesn’t matter what he’s playing – originals, jazz classics, recent works by modern masters – Kimbrough thrives on the art of restraint, pushing down deeper into the harmonies of the songs to create a magnetism that pulls you with him.
And so, Duke Ellington’s “Single Petal of a Rose” unfolds with a Zen-like clarity, gaining intensity and lyrical urgency as it goes. Oscar Pettiford’s “Blues in the Closet” is a nifty, easygoing swinger with an extended, rocking in the pocket solo by Matt Wilson. Kimbrough has the rompingest time on the album reworking his own “Falling Waltz.”
And then there are the modern gems. Joining the growing list of musicians celebrating the compositional greatness of drummer Paul Motian since his passing, Kimbrough turns in a stirring reading of “Arabesque.” And Andrew Hill’s “Dusk,” is a sweeping, swirling, wide-angled exercise on which the pianist banks his lines off Wilson’s flat textures and Anderson’s resounding bass notes.
A broadly talented artist, Kimbrough has also recorded solo albums, accompanied singers such as Kendra Shank and is a founding member of the Jazz Composers Collective, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary. Write enough cards and letters and to your neighborhood jazz club and maybe we can get him out here for a rare performance."
Lloyd Sachs, Jazzespress

Kimbrough makes this session a bit magical by establishing a rapturous conversation between three high-caliber musicians right from the start. The superb Live At Kitano led by the one-of-a-kind Kimbrough puts you in a seat at the club and the trio delivers the goods.
Nick Bewsey,

“Pianist Frank Kimbrough can't avoid the magnetic pull of the trio. Kimbrough keeps coming back to this scenario, not because he has nothing else to say, but because he has so much to say …. He speaks through the keys and does so in gentle, eloquent, engaging and occasionally elusive fashion. Photographer-cum-producer Jimmy Katz set-up his recording gear in New York's Kitano in July 2011 to capture Kimbrough in action with bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Matt Wilson, and the resultant recording is predictably magical. Eight songs were culled from two evening's worth of performances and get to the core of Kimbrough's musical being. Moody, nocturnal melodicism comes to the fore on "Helix," diaphanous meanderings hold sway during drummer Paul Motian's "Arabesque," and wonderfully skittish uncertainty proves to be the order of the day during pianist Andrew Hill's "Dusk." While Kimbrough's sense of expansiveness is often his calling card, it isn't overused. He digs into his own catalog for a fine and focused "Falling Waltz," swings his way through "Blues In The Closet," which features a snare-against-the-ride-beat solo from Wilson that's brilliant in its not-so-simple simplicity, and delivers a lovely rendition of Duke Ellington's "Single Petal Of A Rose." The oft-covered "Lover Man," which holds the penultimate position here, is an elegant and fragile offering that features some of Anderson's most inspired and introspective playing, and the album-ending "Hymn" finds the group working in a loose, bluesy gospel setting. Kimbrough(‘s) broad sense of time, mood and color mark him as a true original….”
Dan Bilawsky,

“Pianist Frank Kimbrough, bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Matt Wilson came together on 2 nights in July of 2011 to create the songs that make up "Live At Kitano" (Palmetto Records). As is the pianist's custom, the Trio did not rehearse, had no set lists and there was little discussion of the songs that were to play. One might imagine that is a scary prospect but, when you have been playing music as long as these gentlemen, the results are often magical.
The 60+ minutes on this disc features 3 Kimbrough originals, several jazz standards, and one piece each by Paul Motian and Andrew Hill. Pieces such as Oscar Pettiford's "Blues In The Closet" swing with a joyous bounce (provided by the bassist for 3 minutes before Wilson enters to provide punch.) Duke Ellington's "Single Petal of a Rose" begins with the bassist reading the splendid melody as Kimbrough colors the music behind him. Their interplay lasts over half the 9:35 of the tune before Wilson adds even more colors from his drummer's palette.
Kimbrough shines on Paul Motian's "Arabesque", a beautiful ballad in the drummer/composer's "floating" style. Anderson's counterpoint and support plus Wilson's "conversational" drumming pulls the listener in. "Dusk", an Andrew Hill composition from the 2000 Palmetto CD of the same name, allows the Trio to explore the melodic, harmonic and, especially, the rhythmic aspects of the piece. The program closes with a new Kimbrough composition. Titled "Hymn", the tune is a soulful, bluesy, even joyous work, that again illustrates the wonderful interplay of the friends and musicians.
"Live at Kitano" is a CD that will give the avid listener much to explore. From the richly melodic piano of Frank Kimbrough to the splendid bass playing of Jay Anderson to the playful, intelligent, and arresting percussion of Matt Wilson, this is creative, modern yet timeless, music of the highest order.”
Richard Kamins, Step Tempest Blog

“Over two nights last summer, Jimmy Katz brought his mobile equipment down to the Kitano hotel, on lower Park Avenue, to record the pianist Frank Kimbrough’s trio, with the bassist Jay Anderson and the drummer Matt Wilson….a band balanced both within itself and to the dimensions of the room. And so “Live at Kitano” (Palmetto) has a slightly mysterious quality, some feeling of veracity, imperfections and all. The band knows its dynamics and its strategies, and it’s always quiet and articulate. Mr. Kimbrough has a clear and limpid sound that steals into sudden melodic runs, breaking up his stately pace, and his set lists make jazz a long continuity of meditation. The album includes Oscar Pettiford’s “Blues in the Closet,” Andrew Hill’s “Dusk,” Duke Ellington’s “Single Petal of a Rose,” Paul Motian’s “Arabesque” and the standard “Lover Man,” carefully reinscribed on the fly, as if to create a polished new song.”
Ben Ratliff, New York Times

“Frank Kimbrough has been one of those consistently adventurous pianists who found his footing back in the 1990s and who was able to combine convention and originality in his playing. With this live release by his trio, he again demonstrates that he is a consistently adventurous pianist who should not be ignored or underestimated. The trio runs through a set list of originals and standards that relies on the band’s considerate and open-minded partnership to deliver a sound-garden of original ideas.
This is an affirmative album from a knowledgeable and expressive pianist.” ****
Pierre Giroux, Audiophile Audition

Frank Kimbrough: Rumors

1. Six (F. Mompou)
2. TMI (Kimbrough)
3. Hope (Kimbrough)
4. Rumors (Kimbrough)
5. Sure As We're Here (Kimbrough)
6. Forsythia (Kimbrough)
7. Over (Kimbrough)
8. For Andrew (Kimbrough)

Frank Kimbrough - piano
Masa Kamaguchi - double bass
Jeff Hirshfield - drums

Top 10 CDs of 2010
Britt Robson -, Jazz Times
Owen Cordle - Jazz Times, Raleigh News and Observer
Peter Hum - Ottawa Citizen

"(Kimbrough) creates a zen-like repose that still leaves the imagination whirring. The near-spontaneous timing of the session extends to the trio's improvisational acuity — their profound empathy seems at least partially informed by an intuitive, off-the-cuff aplomb...Kimbrough has always seemed like an innovator not only open to but primed for moments of serendipity. The circumstances and execution of Rumors confirm it. This may be his best record yet."
Britt Robson,
"Jazz recordings are often described as snapshots, faithful reflections of a moment in time. That’s never the whole truth, but it’s truer than usual on “Rumors” (Palmetto), a casually sumptuous new album from the pianist Frank Kimbrough. Recorded at a Midtown studio with less than 24 hours’ notice, the album features Masa Kamaguchi on bass and Jeff Hirshfield on drums, musicians with whom Mr. Kimbrough had just reconnected after a long hiatus. Their rapport is relaxed, open ended, effortlessly deep....The melodies are songlike even at their most ambiguous, and Mr. Kimbrough uses his bright, percussive touch to keep them grounded."
Nate Chinen, The New York Times
"Rumors has the free and easy quality you might expect...Kimbrough, bassist Masa Kamaguchi, and drummer Jeff Hirshfield draw from the songs an affecting, lived-in quality - the hallmark of musicians who trust as well as know each other on a deep level. A master of making penetrating statements with small, informal gestures, Kimbrough is in a characteristically reflective state...With Kamaguchi's resonant, hard edged sound and Hirshfield's agile attack, the trio leaves a bold imprint even when the name of the game is underplay."
Lloyd Sachs, Downbeat
"There is a sense of immediacy and elasticity about pianist Frank Kimbrough’s new album, Rumors. As well there should be. The entire session, comprising eight tunes, was conceived and recorded in four hours. Kimbrough says he got a call inviting him to record the next day and then hastily assembled a trio by calling bassist Masa Kamaguchi and drummer Jeff Hirshfield, with whom he’d played the previous weekend. With no planning, they performed from the the heart, drawing on the loosest of sketches for inspiration.
More music ought to be made this way. Kimbrough has always favored a laidback, impressionistic approach that invites comparisons to Bill Evans, and here he feels as relaxed as ever. The company he keeps has something to do with it. Individually, each instrument doesn’t sound like it’s doing much, but it all hangs together, coalescing into beauty.
Don’t come to Frank Kimbrough expecting a swinging good time. Grace and elegance are the operative words. Tunes like Six, Forsythia, and For Andrew barely have a rhythm to speak of. A bass is plucked high on the neck, once here and once there. A mallet strikes a tom and then waits. Kimbrough can play with a blues feeling, and does on such tunes as TMI, but he prefers to say more with less. Even melody can be almost undetectable on a song like Rumors. The theme is stated most overtly on Hope, a composition that feels like the halfway point between Evans (aesthetically) and Thelonious Monk (melodically). If Kimbrough’s trio hurried up to get in a full album’s worth of material in a four hour session, more bands should make haste in the studio."
Steve Greenlee, JazzTimes
**** "One of the great charms of Frank Kimbrough’s music is how casual and immediate it is. The New York pianist’s latest trio CD, Rumors, is the entrancing result of a three-hour session that took place with less than a day’s notice. Kimbrough, bassist Masa Kamaguchi, and drummer Jeff Hirshfield launched into songs with no rehearsals, no discussions, and not even countoffs.
While lesser musicians might have grown flustered and flopped, the trio made music that is by and large spellbinding. Most of its eight tracks are slow and plaintive, spacious and mysterious. The gorgeous, disc-closing song For Andrew is utterly improvised, distilled melancholy. A few tracks (TMI, Over, Sure As We’re Here) are faster and more dense. Every track is richly layered and filled with surprises, especially because of Kamaguchi’s unpredictable, unique melodic sense. Rumors is the very sound of musical intimacy.
Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen
"While seven of these pieces come from Kimbrough's pen, the album starts off with "Six," written by Catalan composer Federico Mompou and unfolding with Hirshfield's slow cymbal dance. Kimbrough's delivery shows an uncluttered sense of melodic brilliance, making this an engaging performance. "TMI" betrays Kimbrough's fondness for piano visionaries like Thelonious Monk, Andrew Hill and Herbie Nichols. Quirky, sea-sawing melodic snippets collide as the trio shows off its elastic sense of time. While performing as one interactive entity on this song, "Hope" begins as a showcase for Kimbrough. Kamaguchi and Hirshfield enter this performance with a fragile sense of being, and support Kimbrough during his comforting and consonant travels. Eventually, bass and piano converse and create some touching musical moments. The title track begins with some slight hints of the Far East. As the music grows, Hirshfield's ride cymbal work becomes more furious and he rains down on the group with a percussive storm. Kamaguchi's pulsing, insistent bass presence helps to provide a sense of consistency in these stormy moments. Kimbrough creates a two-handed dance on "Sure As We're Here," with Hirshfield providing some skittering brushwork. "Forsythia" shows deep, beautiful, organic musical growth. An expansive and open feeling pervades this piece, with Kamaguchi blending well with Kimbrough, and the clear ring of the bass and piano seeming to linger in the air. "Over," with its spiky, jagged beginning, starts off like a three-way boxing match. Each man jabs and prods with his instrument, but things change when Hirshfield takes over, owning the music until Kamaguchi gets his turn. A shower of notes seems to descend from all places as the piece tumbles toward its conclusion. "For Andrew" is six minutes of solemn, absorbing sound. Sensitivity and reverence travel through this piece, as each musician adds to the emotional impact and flow. This recording session might have been coordinated at the last minute, but it's hard to imagine finer musical conversations being crafted with all the planning time in the world."
Dan Bilawsky,

Rumors is Frank Kimbrough's ultimate effort to play music in hushed tones, far removed from bop or anything remotely involved in overt actions. With hefty-sounding bassist Masa Kamaguchi and balanced drummer Jeff Hirshfield, Kimbrough's piano musings are rendered to beautifully wispy and subtle phrasings that stretch beyond simple melody lines into Zenlike trains of thought. While not quite approaching spirit songs, the music is closer to European art music, and is far removed from interpretation of standards. Kimbrough does have discernible influences, as heard during "TMI," reflecting Thelonious Monk, Herbie Nichols, or Ornette Coleman, while his tribute to Andrew Hill, "For Andrew," is harmonically rich and introspective as anything on this set. Using a rhythmically elusive stance during "Sure as We're Here" or in an interactive but free style for "Over," the trio continually delivers music that lies under the surface yet resonates on a purely emotional level. Though always seen as a performer with depth and substance, Kimbrough may have outdone himself with this excellent recording that emphasizes internal energy and soul, demanding a similar or repeat performance at some other time.
Michael Nastos,

"Rumors" is intimate jazz of the first degree. All but one of the pieces are Kimbrough originals. The disk leads off with an adaptation of Spanish composer Federico Mompou's "Six." The Catalan composer (1893-1987) was noted for his expressive solo piano pieces. This piece offers finely wrought piano lines, impressive counterpoint from Kamaguchi and quiet support from Hirschfield. "TMI" displays the influences of both Thelonious Monk and Ornette Coleman on the pianist, with its off-handed bluesy phrases and "free swing" from the rhythm section. Kimbrough's lyricism shines forth on "Hope", the phrases tumbling easily and gracefully from the piano. Another influence on Kimbrough has been Andrew Hill and "For Andrew" is a classy, quiet, elegy that combines lyrical bass work, active yet soft drumming (wonderful cymbal work) and an elongated, circular, melody line that slowly moves forward and back to opening lines. Kamaguchi's contrbution should not be overlooked as his counterpoint is filled with delicious short melodic (and seemingly pointillistic) phrases. Other highlights include the Latin-tinged "Sure As We're Here", replete with two-handed piano lines that move from rhythmic to melodic and back with ease as well as splendid brush work. There's a "free-ish" feel to "Over" with solo spots for both drummer and bassist in the first half of the 6+ minute piece before Kimbrough's expansive rumbling and rollicking spotlight (great last line, too.) Many people like to be bowled over by jazz, wowed by the technical facility of the musicians. There are others who like to seduced by the sounds, enjoy the intimacy of the interplay. Those who fall into the latter category should embrace and celebrate the music of "Rumors" - one can easily get lost in its myriad joys."
Richard Kamins,
"As close to pure improv as you can get, this is certainly a set with feeling and smarts played by cats that don’t need to be told what to do. It’s art jazz that really smart jazz and proof of why (Kimbrough's) on the speed dial of so many players in New York."
Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap

Frank Kimbrough: Chant (new reissue on Palmetto - download only)

1. Feet Music (O. Coleman)
2. Chant (Kimbrough)
3. Phoenix (J. Giuffre)
4. Broadside (Kimbrough)
5. Clara's Room (Kimbrough)
6. Quickening (Kimbrough)
7. Ancestors (Kimbrough)
8. Motility (Kimbrough)

Frank Kimbrough – piano
Ben Allison – bass
Jeff Ballard – drums

"....there are precious few technically accomplished pianists who keep getting better by raising the bar on themselves. Kimbrough's one of them. From listening to "Chant," one finds that Kimbrough also belongs to an elite group of pianist-composers able to dream in many odd colors and time signatures, leaving curious designs - and brighter moods - in their wake."
Gene Seymour, NY Newsday

"...simplicity and a meditative core can be found on "Chant." Kimbrough's recording reaps the benefits of long and close relationships, in this case with bassist Ben Allison and drummer Jeff Ballard. Throughout, there is a ritual feel to the music: mantra-like figures rise and recede, improvisation follows a mostly modal route, and spaces (like breaths) are carefully, wisely placed. Ballard's significance in all this can't be overstated. He doesn't solo, he rarely even fills, and almost never just keeps time. Instead, he's reactive in the best sense of the word, changing pulses to support the flow of each improvisation, building tension, then celebrating its release. If Kimbrough and company's Collective is geared toward erasing the lines between composer and player, this recording is a meaningful addition to their manifesto."
Larry Blumenfeld, Jazziz


"Not one to provide instant gratification, Kimbrough makes you wait, keeping you on your toes as you listen to the trio develop its interplay throughout the course of a tune. And each selection has its own secret, rewarding a close, attentive listen every time."
David Adler, All About

Frank Kimbrough: PLAY (Palmetto PM 2118)

1. Beginning
2. The Spins
3. Lucent
4. Waiting In Santander
5. Conception Vessel
6. Jimmy G
7. Play
8. Regeneration
9. Little Big Man
10. Beginning 2

Frank Kimbrough - piano
Masa Kamaguchi - bass
Paul Motian - drums

all compositions by Frank Kimbrough, Kimbrough Music, BMI, except for (5) and (7) by Paul Motian, Yazgol Music, BMI.

Top 10 Jazz CDs of 2006
Martin Johnson, Wall Street Journal
Gene Seymour, New York Newsday
James Hale,
John Shand, Sydney (Australia)Morning Herald
Paul Olson,
Bob Weinberg, Jazziz

"...the album depicts the three musicians in an elevated state, engaged in intimate and often sparkling conversation. Their colloquy is long on sustain and enigma, with compositions that frequently heed a stately, crawling abstraction...But there are also bright flashes of elastic swing...There, and throughout the album, oblique procedures are softened by genuinely catchy melodies.
Nate Chinen, The New York Times

****An air of tranquility suffuses much of Frank Kimbrough's Play...A lot of credit goes to the Zen-like accompaniment of Paul Motian, whose cymbal work drifts like vapor above Kimbrough and bassist Masa Kamaguchi....Kimbrough's collaboration with the drummer seems like a natural...Kamaguchi has a big, booming tone and a way of letting just a few notes sing. Throughout, Kimbrough's rich orchestral approach to the piano shines. This is a beautifully balanced set of compositions, played with the unhurried grace of musicians who have the confidence that their interaction will carry them someplace interesting."
James Hale, Downbeat

"Kimbrough's trio effortlessly navigates the strait between the mainland of contemporary jazz and the isle of free improvisation. Play contains 53 minutes of jazz without a single riff, lick, or pattern. The result: 10 vignettes spun from simple compositional concepts into loose and understated structures, which together amount to one of the finest jazz albums released in years."
Bill Carbone, New Haven Advocate

" unparalleled grace of touch and musicality that subtly penetrate the ear; dancing with the innate, ineffable rhythmic sense that makes repeated listenings a pleasure. Kimbrough creates and develops musical settings on Play that seem as organic and inevitable as a sunrise or a flower's bloom. It is vibrant, fresh, and entirely egoless."
Matthew Miller, All About Jazz New York
**** "Pianist Frank Kimbrough delivers more of his deeply introspective, harmonically complex jazz on Play. Working with a trio, Kimbrough is supported here by the adept bassist Masa Kamaguchi and journeyman drummer Paul Motian. A phenomenal pianist, Kimbrough's mix of cubist bumptiousness and impressionistic colorations is thoroughly modern and prefigures the work some of his younger, more ballyhooed contemporaries. Moving from tumbling ballads to playful waltzes and enigmatic modal pieces, Kimbrough has crafted a challenging, atmospheric, and subtle album that makes the most of his sensitive group's interplay."
Matt Collar, All Music Guide

"The five-hour session at Matt Balitsaris' Maggie's Farm studio was Kimbrough's first encounter with Motian. You wonder what took them so long. The two players are completely on each others' wavelength here, and Kimbrough included two of Motian's best compositions. This is thoughtful, interior music for the most part, and it's exquisitely done.....this is music making on a very high level."
John Chacona, Signal to Noise

"...there is a rich strain in jazz that can be termed impressionistic, and currently there is no finer practitioner than Frank Kimbrough. Kimbrough gets his musical ideas across in evocative strokes rather than bold refrains. All but two of the album’s lovely compositions are by Kimbrough and they work beautifully as components of a larger work of art. Moving back and forth between abstract and melodic sections, “The Spins” is the album’s most intriguing composition. In each verse Kimbrough toys with time and structure in a manner bordering on the avant-garde. He counters this with a beautiful lyrical passage that somehow is a perfect fit. “Jimmy G” is another particularly distinctive tune. Employing a blues structure, Kimbrough injects an air of mystery into his melody, bringing a fresh approach to a well-traveled genre. In creating an impressionistic album, Kimbrough has chosen the best possible drummer for the job, Paul Motian. Motian, who contributes two compositions (including the title tune), has few rivals when it comes to using a full palette of percussive colors. Bassist Masa Kamaguchi is the least-known player on the album, but he is an artist of the first order, contributing tastefully on every cut and executing some memorable solos."
Ron Netsky, Rochester Citynews
"New York jazz pianist Frank Kimbrough creates a bewitching album. The immediacy pulses from the speakers with every note. Kimbrough's touch and ideas have a mystery and soft, twinkling brightness about them and, like starlight, a burning core."
John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald
"Waxing reflective on the new Play, the pianist makes a point of subverting familiar phrases while still delivering an array of organized thoughts, meaning he always makes you guess where he's going - one reason jazz fans buy disks and see shows. His trio with Paul Motian is all about demonstrative nuances."
Jim Macnie, Village Voice

"Under (Kimbrough's) fingers, each melody note seems chosen not for its riff value, but for what it adds to his bittersweet harmonies. The approach has won a thoughtful audience that's interested in searching out his tunes' subtle beauty. "Play" includes plenty of that beauty. Kimbrough's comfortable interplay with another weaver of subtleties, drummer Paul Motian, is no surprise. Bassist Masa Kamaguchi lends a spontaneous and sensitive voice to the dialogue. The trio swings -- check out the Monk-evoking waltz, "The Spins" -- as well as it slow-walks through poignant pieces like "Beginning" and lurches and searches through a portentous composition like Motian's "Conception Vessel."
Steve Garmhausen, Star Ledger
"…..a magnificent example of ’open balladry’ – meditative but also quietly dramatic, very beautiful, & free of clichés. Three people with big ears, wide open."
ABC Radio National (Australia)
"Play demonstrates the pianist’s full range of playing and composition – from the subtle and introspective to the rambunctious and angular – combined with a palpable feeling of discovery and spontaneity."
Ed Trefzger, JazzWeek

Also available:

Frank Kimbrough: Lullabluebye (Palmetto PM 2100)

1. Lullabluebye
2. Centering
3. Kid Stuff
4. Ode
5. Whirl
6. Ghost Dance
7. You Only Live Twice (John Barry)
8. Fu Bu
9. Ben's Tune (Ben Allison)
10. Eventualitues

Frank Kimbrough – piano
Ben Allison – bass
Matt Wilson – drums

all compositions by Frank Kimbrough, Kimbrough Music, BMI except where indicated.

  • Best CDs OF 2004 –
  • Best CD of 2004 – Jack Cooke, Jazz Review (UK)
  • Ten Best CDs of 2004 – Owen Cordle, Jazz Times
  • Top 20 for 2004 – CMJ Jazz Chart
  • Ten Best CDs of 2004 – Greg Buium, Coda

    ****½ "This superb trio date gives (Kimbrough's) growing set of admirers another argument for putting him among New York's finest pianists. Here, he and his colleagues bassist Ben Allison and drummer Matt Wilson, combine a great love of melody and time with curiosity fueled by freer structures. That's probably why Lullabluebye is so appealing. It is beautiful but it is a great many other things, too. The arrangements give the trio plenty of room, but he isn't preoccupied by mood or method. It's a memorable performance on a compelling record."
    Greg Buium, Downbeat
    "Any opportunity to listen to Frank Kimbrough's trio is apt to be well worth the investment in time and concentration. Although ever accessible, it is sometimes freeform and unfettered, other times focused and disciplined, but always thoughtful and genuine; just when you think you have it figured out, it frequently springs a can take you to light and mystical places in an almost Zen-like way you may not have believed possible."
    J. Robert Bragonier,
    "Lullabluebye (Palmetto) captures the razor sharp pianist alongside two JCC associates, bassist Ben Allison and drummer Matt Wilson. The three read each other like the old friends and musical partners they are, and their familiarity and intuitive approach to form accounts in large part for the album's success. Another factor is Kimbrough's persuasive writing, which offsets melodic polish with plenty of room for spontaneous interaction."
    Steve Futterman, Jazz Times
    "It took a lot longer than it should have, but pianist Frank Kimbrough is finally getting the recognition he deserves. Best known as a founder of (the) Herbie Nichols Project and a member of the Maria Schneider orchestra, Kimbrough has been quietly producing adventurous, high-quality recordings for nearly two decades. But none better than Lullabluebye, a collection of Kimbrough's patented bittersweet melodies and swelling rhythms that is winning critical raves...(he is) joined by bassist Ben Allison and drummer Matt Wilson, long-time associates whose simpatico gives Kimbrough the freedom to explore the full range of the piano trio, imbuing it with a modern sensibility that occasionally strays to the edge of avant garde."
    Doug Fischer, Ottawa Citizen
    " excellent program of modern jazz that grows in iterest with each listen due to its subtlety and quiet surprises."
    Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
    ...the cohesiveness of the trio, together with the strong personal sounds of each of its components, makes this all a strong jazz album should be. It swings hard, the solos are adventurous, there's a spirit of uncontrived spontaneity...this is a grower of a disk, and one that is likely to keep finding its way into the CD player."
    Peter Bacon, The Birminghampton (UK) Post
    "For over a decade, (Kimbrough) has been considered one of New York's "rising stars" in the field of jazz piano, but as far as I’m concerned, he’s already arrived. From the first notes of his new CD: Lullabluebye (Palmetto PM 2100), it is obvious that his voice is strong, expressive and well-developed. A strong statement by a pianist well worth discovering -- if you enjoy intelligent jazz piano, you will enjoy Lullabluebye."
    Jim Luce,
    ***** "a magisterially personal album, rooted but adventurous, combining structure with freedom and a palpable joy in performance. As for the performances, this is a trio joined at the hip, with Whirl, Ben's Tune and Eventualities gripping examples of their empathy, while Kimbrough's improvisations, notably his superb solo on Centering, constantly reconcile surprise with inevitability."
    Ray Comisky, The Irish Times
    "The pianist is an expert at the crab walk; his music gains ground by moving forward and sideways at the same time. That's beguiling, if not intriguing, and it places Kimbrough in good company - Andrew Hill and Misha Mengelberg busted similar moves. With a centerpiece entitled "Whirl", his new Lullabluebye is cunning and kaleidoscopic."
    Jim Macnie, Village Voice
    "Immaculate swing, very intelligent and informed improvisations, great technique, style, authority, and personality. Frank's improvisations are brilliant. This is a must-have CD."
    Jose Duarte,
    "...multiplexed, dynamic, and thankfully accessible to the listener...filled with empathy and free expression. Every solo is filled with history but more importantly a path to somewhere outside of the typical idiom...searching and progressive with an acute sense of awareness between the musicians...the trio performs with a symbiotic oneness. Kimbrough guides the way with fresh writing and performing and leaves a lasting impression of intelligence and identity."
    Mark F. Turner, Jazz Improv Magazine
    "interaction makes Lullabluebye a joy."
    The New Yorker

    Frank Kimbrough Trio: Quickening (OmniTone 15203)

    1. Quickening
    2. Cascade Rising
    3. Chant
    4. Clara's Room
    5. Svengali
    6. For Duke
    7. TMI
    8. Ancestor

    Frank Kimbrough — piano
    Ben Allison — bass
    Jeff Ballard — drums

    All compositions by Frank Kimbrough, Kimbrough Music, BMI

    **** "On Quickening, a live trio date recorded in 1998, pianist Frank Kimbrough displays both a markedly original voice and a rare depth of conception...Kimbrough is one of those introspective improvisors who falls deep into his music, yet unlike many others of this style, he actually pulls the listener in with him. Quickening is a work of powerful subtlety...without even a hint of grandstanding, every move this egalitarian trio makes is all about the music. That such a blueprint evolved in a live setting makes the session all the more remarkable."
    Jeff McCord, Downbeat
    "The listener gets treated to lots of spry, centred playing. It is the kind of music that one is deeply affected by, almost without being consciously aware of what's happening. The word for that would be "transcendence", something that is arrived at via an approach that is meditative, centering and relaxing, yet substantial."
    Paul Serralheiro, La Scena Musicale
    **** "Kimbrough continues to shine as a formidable modern jazz composer. Fervently recommended"
    Glenn Asterita, All Music Guide

    "Quickening is an impressive trio outing filled with great improvisations, clever compositions, and deep moods and space. Kimbrough is a fresh voice worth your time."
    "...there is a bold organic feeling to these well-recorded live performances, a sense of freedom and form, in which dissonant modern impulses are balanced out by profoundly lyrical touches, harmonic ambiguity by the collective exhuberance of a solid groove. Kimbrough's lovely touch, fulsome harmonic flourishes and rhythmic sophistication holds it all together...the sonics are full bodied and sweetly balanced."
    Chip Stern, Positive Feedback Online

    "It's easy to lose oneself in these pieces, their ebb and flow is seductive and they envelop the listener with an expressiveness that makes for a very personal encounter...Kimbrough's playing is lyrical and eloquent throughout and he is able to convey subtle shades of emotion with his expressive touch. It is, however, his interplay with Allison and Ballard that makes this a most special offering."
    Elliot Simon, All About Jazz New York