barabara sounds sez:
I only got to know this one quite recently (yes, it's gnu to me). That's my oversight... and my pleasure to discover it. There's some great playing here (including some top work by Jarrett). HIghly recommended.
"Gnu High" was trumpeter/flugelhornist Kenny Wheeler's first for ECM, and Keith Jarrett's last session as a sideman: both deliver astonishing improvisations in a highly ineractive quartet with Holland and DeJohnette, and Wheeler's writing is captivating.
A killer ECM debut from Kenny Wheeler -- a real standout in the label's classic 70s run, and a record that's overflowing with soul and feeling! Wheeler had already made a number of key recordings by the time of this ECM set, but the label's approach seems to unlock something new in his playing -- a deeper sensitivity, yet never in the slower, too-open way of other ECM players -- almost an Art Farmer sort of approach to the flugelhorn, which he uses exclusively on this set. The tracks are all quite long, but very focused and flowing -- with key rhythmic support from the trio of Keith Jarrett on piano, Dave Holland on bass, and Jack DeJohnette on drums -- all of whom are happy to put their own agendas aside, and let Wheeler's magnificent lines direct the album's sound.
an amazon reviewer sez:
It seemed as if Kenny Wheeler set this record up to provide his sidemen with a chance to boost their reputations enormously. Wheeler sets up the CD with his swooping solo over the changes and then Keith Jarrett produces some of the most lyrical piano playing on record. His solo transition on the first track is one of the high points of the album. Dave Holland seems to have ears the size of a house for everything that he picks up and responds to and sometimes seems like a rock in the middle of all the swirling music around him. Jack DeJohnette has a great solo where he stays on his cymbals for so long that when he finally plays one of his toms it feels like finally stepping on firm ground after an atmoshperic ride. Wheeler's writing is consistantly original and beautiful throughout.