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  • Writer's pictureJAM

Bob Himmelberger Trio Legacy (Review)

Pianist and composer Bob Himmelberger leads a fascinating, straight-ahead, contemporary album in Legacy. Former luminary Kansas Citian Matt Kane studied piano with Himmelberger, and then was asked to join Himmelberger’s band on drums. Himmelberger has worked, taught, and performed in the New York/New Jersey area for over 25 years. As part of his past, Himmelberger worked off and on with the Glenn Miller Band from 1985-1990 and performed at Carnegie Hall with Michele Hendricks in September of 1989.

Former Kansas Citian Matt Kane is front and center on this album, duet-like with pianist Himmelberger through much of it, ala Roy Haynes and Chick Corea on Now He Sings… Kane’s clean, muscular brush work is showcased on Desert Gardens (track two’s) start. And the album tastefully reveals Kane’s energetic and propulsive, melodic, clean and finely articulated playing. Kane is on. Every whisper-like cymbal and snare drum hit is on-point and responsive as in a form of saintly dialogue with pianist/trio leader Himmelberger. On his website, Kane writes about the album, saying that it was his all-time favorite time in the studio: “It was a musical experience that was highly rewarding…Recording with Bob Himmelberger and Dave Kingsnorth (bass) was the first time I really, truly enjoyed a record date…Bob gathered up 15 of his best tunes and we spent a day just jamming on them, taking liberties and having fun.” Dave Kingsnorth’s bass playing is present and supportive, a little Gary Peacock-like, anchoring the group. These three play together with cohesion and synergy. This is one of my favorites, of the albums I have encountered this year. Get it if you can. Among other things, hear some of what Kane is up to now.

—Kevin Rabas

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