Frank Harrison (piano), Aidan O’Donnell (bass), Stephen Keogh (drums)
John Fordham. The Guardian
Harrison is most familiar as Gilad Atzmon's pianist, and the 2006 Atzmon group's diversion toward keyboard electronics might suggest a hint of that on Harrison's personal debut. But this is an acoustic-trio set in Brad Mehldau territory, and the scalding pace and motivic zigzagging of What Is This Thing Called Love? is a reminder both of how much spark remains in this familiar jazz-ensemble format, and how many good examples of it there are in the UK.
Harrison is accompanied by the bassist they call Scotland's Dave Holland - Aidan O'Donnell - and by that sensitive small-group drummer Stephen Keogh. The pianist's quiet, rippling originals take five tracks; there are three standards, and a brooding account of the Spartacus theme with O'Donnell in conversational support. Harrison's swaying ballad Jinni is the most openly songlike of his own pieces (Bill Evans-like in its accelerating development), but - as with Mehldau - the most elliptical, preoccupied overtures develop unexpected fireworks. A promising start.
Peter Bevan, The Northern Echo
Pianist Frank Harrison will be familiar from Gilad Atzmon’s groups but this debut album presents him in a new light. He’s accompanied by bass player Aidan O’Donnell and drummer Stephen Keogh but it’s Harrison who stands out on a session which is as delicate and expressive as anything else I’ve heard, helped by a crystal clear recording. It’s simply beautiful.