Where the River Goes
One Day My Prince Was Gone
On his third album for the ECM label, Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel reconvenes his quintet from 2016’s Rising Grace, with the great Eric Harland in place of Brian Blade on drums. The same wondrous chemistry abounds in the interplay of trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and pianist Brad Mehldau, both major bandleaders able to shine without overpowering as sidemen. Bassist Larry Grenadier, Mehldau’s longtime bandmate, again proves a superior improviser who can go wherever the leader’s music demands. Switching between electric and nylon-string guitars, Muthspiel is consistently beautiful and fluid—his unaccompanied feature “Buenos Aires” and the closing impressionistic duet with Harland, “Panorama,” are perfect palate cleansers. Mehldau’s “Blueshead” and Muthspiel’s cagey reinvention of “Someday My Prince Will Come” (“One Day My Prince Was Gone”) inject satisfying doses of swing.