The review on Houdini on www.amazon.co.uk Three masters do their magic, 3 November, 2001 Reviewer: A music fan from Gibraltar
Putting great musicians together, by great I mean in total command of their instruments and past the need to display technique,does not always work. Its often interesting, but not always natural.
Having spent the last 25 years crawling from jazz club to jazz club one also becomes aware that some of the big names live with young blood to keep their music alive. That's fine. But every now and then the names, the different backgrounds of musicians all slip into the background and their music stands ahead of them. So it is with this trio who recently performed in the Pizza Express, Dean Street London, which, since Ronnie died, has become the jazz soul of that great city.
Biased as I am towards the role of the acoustic bass and that line of creativity that flows from Blanton through Mingus, I was spellbound by Williams sensitivity. Like a maestro of a flamenco guitar there was no technique here that could be called show rather than music. Gerri Allen's intimacy with Willams and Lenny White's clean and clear pulse make this a session that even truculent purists should not miss.
To a newcomer to the trio, Houdini will send you searching for past works and wondering if the magic can be cast again in a future album.
The CD sits on my shelf between Cedar Walton and Ahmad Jamal and the recent Chano Dominguez 'Imam'. All music where you hear the notes without effort. Music which tells you that, in a world increasingly dominated by cash and image, is not ephemeral, there is still a jazz that it is serious, beautiful and moving. When you listen to this one you won't need Houdini's chains to immobilise you.