John Hicks: Passion Flower (double CD)
A piano giant of the New York jazz scene for 40 years, John could break your heart with a
ballad, sweep you off your feet with an anthem, or boot you into boogeyin' with one of
his cookers. And he had the rare gift of inspiring his sidemen to play beyond themselves.
Passion Flower pairs his two trio sessions for Mapleshade - including nine of Hicks' most
enduring compositions, breathtaking Ellington, Gershwin and Strayhorn ballads, and brilliantly
swinging versions of Thad Jones, Charlie Mingus, and Wayne Shorter pieces (all of whom Hicks played
with). Disc 1 is a lushly romantic trio with sensuous flute and delicately swinging bass. On Disc 2
there's hard-hitting, polyrhythmic drums with driving bass, a subtly arranged string quartet
that joins the trio on a few tracks, and unforgettable solo tracks by Hicks. "One of Hicks'
finest recordings," is the Washington Post's judgement. The sound is the best of any
Hicks on record; Stereophile raves "...as natural and true to life as can be."
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