Good Night Songs captures on two CDs a two and a half year-old live trio performance from three accomplished musicians and educators. John Tchicai, the Dutch reedman and free-jazz veteran who has recorded with such greats as Don Cherry, Archie Shepp and Johns Coltrane and Lennon, is probably the most familiar name of the bunch, though guitarist Garrison Fewell and Either/Orchestra saxophonist Charlie Kohlhase each have a number of fine recordings under their belt and are certainly well respected as well.
Without proper bass and drums (Fewell at times approximates a bass line with his six string, and he and Tchicai occasionally switch to percussion), the music is free to roam off the beaten path, as on Tchicai's circuitous "On Fait La Taille." They don't ignore rhythm, though, with a nice calypso motive surfacing on "Thriftshopping." Fewell gives us a nice ballad in "X-Ray Vision" and Kohlhase contributes a bebop head on "Consolation Cake." and an interesting harmolodic one on "Start to Finish."
The name of the game here is improvisation, free and otherwise, and the trio holds some interesting discussions here. Though it probably isn't the type of record that you'll want to play over and over, Good Night Songs is full of enough musical invention to repay a few close listenings. Tchicai, Fewell and Kohlhase each demonstrate mastery of their instruments and prove a simpatico grouping.