David Childs: Child’s Play

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Certainly not child’s play in the literal sense, this music has its share of complex moments but for the most part is straightahead. That is the “tried and true format”, says Mr. Childs in his liner notes, “where one musician takes the lead while the others accompany”.

He plays Bud Powell’s Celia in this manner and follows on with a hard-swinging Soulful Sarah, again in that way. Bassist Torff plays an intricate bass solo where he provides surging ascending and descending lines rapidly.

Childs talks about the Bills Evans’ approach and begins to emulate it somewhat on Alice In Wonderland where Torff takes a major part in playing the melody. This is more relaxed in a give-and-take between piano and bass with drummer Burrows keeping up a rhythmic commentary. It is not quite the three-way integration that Evans achieved with his early, classic trio but it is going along those lines.

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Gaviota is by Clare Fischer and here the trio are joined by percussionist Bobby Sanabria, who adds an exotic dash of Latin rhythms to the proceedings. Gaviota translates from the Spanish as seagull and this is what Childs had in mind, the swooping bird represented by fleet piano and enhanced with exotic rhythms.

I’m Old Fashioned is played fairly straight with the pianist showing his more lyrical side and the bass and drums well featured in support. Mr. Childs has a solo excursion on Ellington’s Prelude To A Kiss where he turns in a flowing solo using a light touch. I Wish I Knew is rendered with a full gospel approach and all three musicians play enthusiastically. This is a good showcase for Childs the piano soloist and although it is mostly his solo work, he does give both bassist and drummer chances to stretch out.

Discography
Celia; Soulful Sarah; Alice In Wonderland; Gaviota; I’m Old Fashioned; Prelude To A Kiss; I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free (39.10)
Childs (p); Brian Torff (b); Greg Burroughs (d); Bobby Sanabria (pc). Paramus, NJ, no date given.
BB Music BB-4103

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