BK3 (formerly known as the Brian Kellock Trio) is led by Edinburgh-born jazz pianist Brian Kellock and also features drummer John Rae and bassist Kenny Ellis. Brian Kellock is one of the top piano players in the UK jazz scene, with a distinctive, swinging playing style which has made him the go-to pianist for visiting American jazz musicians for many years. Kellock has been involved with a number of solo and collaborative projects over the years but his trio has been a constant (with the same line-up) since forming in the late 1980s. The Brian Kellock Trio’s last album was Live At Henry’s, which won Album of the Year at the BBC Jazz Awards in 2001. Now, 19 years later, the re-named BK3 return with a new album, Think About It!, seeking to transform often quite rare jazz standards into something quite dramatic and special.
The album kicks off at a blistering pace with East Of The Sun, which features a deliciously discordant opening salvo, staccato rhythms and a free-flowing piano solo underpinned by thunderous bass and drums. As with several of the other album tracks, the melody is not revealed until fairly late on in the piece. The melody of The Nearness Of You is, however, instantly recognisable and it is coaxed out beautifully by Brian Kellock’s graceful and soothing piano, feathery percussion and delicate pulses of bass.
The rhythm section kicks up a quiet storm in the intro to Voyage, ushering in sort, sharp bursts of piano, followed by a wonderfully freewheeling passage of piano and bass interplay and majestic drumming. In Gone With The Wind the band plays tantalisingly around the edges of the melody and Kellock showcases the full range of his swinging piano style, with wave upon wave of quicksilver runs interspersed by heavily percussive chords.
Stella By Starlight highlights the trio’s experimental side, as rapidly rippling piano and imperious bass give way to some free-form improvisation, involving the use of piano strings, fluttering percussion and ambient bass. The trio stretches out in If I Love You, an extended and reflective piece, which starts with elegant piano over light percussion, before the melody is taken up by deep and resonant bass, embellished by lingering piano chords until, finally, Kellock’s cascading piano solo leads into a gently caressing finish. The album finishes in style with Song For The Rootabagas, a gloriously swinging and bluesy romp.
Think About It! captures perfectly the individual and collective virtuosity of Brian Kellock, John Rae and Kenny Ellis and is sure to be warmly welcomed by BK3 fans and the wider jazz community on both sides of the Atlantic.
Think About It! will be released by Thick Records on 31st October 2020