Kenny Wheeler convened an all-star British band for this new 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 Sulzmann, 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 ( Seven, Eight, Nine - Part 1 is the title of the track, the first of eight, all penned by the leader). 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. A new, precious stone in the monumental recordings of Wheeler, who has, by now, tackled all of the styles and phases of British and European jazz, always managing to optimise the talents of his travelling companions.
This sparkling set burnishes his reputation further. FOUR STARS --Jazzwise
With Wheeler s vocal-led Mirrors one of the very best releases of the year so far Six For Six will further delight his followers and the new generation of musicians who have fallen under this great jazz composer s spell. FOUR STARS --Marlbank