Martin Wind (upright bass) Philip Catherine (guitar) Ack van Rooyen (flugelhorn, trumpet)
"This quiet recital is an ideal reaction to the horrors of our contemporary (and sometimes contemptable) world."
This is a stylish and genial trio date, led by bassist Martin Wind and featuring the now 90-year-old Netherlander Ack Van Rooyen (he was a mere 89 when the music was recorded) who plays flugelhorn on most, but not all, the tracks. The elder statesman, with credits under Kenny Clarke, Friedrich Gulda and Eberhard Weber, among others, has maintained an impressively durable lip and he plays his big horn with a warm, grainy, centered sound, the intonation always right there.
Sound is the immediate impression and the lasting take—no white noise here. To introduce the opening track, Kenny Wheeler's "Canter", Wind plays arco in the upper register and the sound is strong and full. It’s not just his playing; he credits his amp, pickups and microphone and the album boasts some of the nicest bass sound put on disc, real reference quality.
Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine has always been known for his classic ringing, liquid sound and his pointed articulation; he gets a lot of expressive mileage out of some judicious plectrum aggression on his bluesy solo through the Jimmy Van Heusen-Johnny Burke standard "But Beautiful". The two string players duet on that one and handle the bulk of the duties. They sound so good together, really playing for each other, this almost seems a duo record.
But the beauty of Van Rooyen's voice is essential. "Canter" is a wise choice as he has a lot of the suave, graceful phrasing that was Wheeler's style, the little inflections at the end of notes that are full of meaning (Wheeler and Van Rooyen played alongside one another in the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble and Peter Herbolzheimer Rhythm Combination & Brass). Compared to Wind and Catherine, he can be rhythmically insecure. Still the sound is there and is integral to this lovely album. His extensive playing on his own "Autumn Bugle" is marvelously eloquent.
JazzPodium - Review by Stephan Richter"