Subtle Fire (2009)


The first moments of Subtle Fire, the debut album from Winnipeg pianist Will Bonness, are like doors swinging open, providing an entry point to some of the most appealing and artful trio playing out there right now. From fresh takes on standards like “Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise” and “It Never Entered My Mind” to compelling originals like “Walking on Water” and the title track, Subtle Fire is stylish, sophisticated, and emotionally charged.

Bonness has incredible facility, and it always serves his muse—he’s as convincing in a soulful ballad as he is at a blistering tempo. The rapport between Bonness and his bandmates, bassist Steve Kirby and drummer Terreon Gully, is uncanny, like three separate individuals expressing a single musical mind. Subtle Fire is both intimate and expansive. It’s also witty, powerful, and refined, without a trace of pretension.

Bonness is definitely a brilliant new star.

Bonness’ bandmates on Subtle Fire are bassist STEVE KIRBY and drummer TERREON GULLY, acclaimed jazz musicians who perform, record, and tour with some of the highest profile players in the business. Kirby moved from New York to Winnipeg in 2003 when he became the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Manitoba. Gully, a native of East St Louis, lives in Atlanta.

Buy this album online:

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Nowosad, Curtis. Dialectics

Epp, Amber. Inside/Outside
Fontaine, Vince. Indian City
Gillis, Richard. The Journey
Presslaff, Jeff. The Complete Rebirth of the Cool

Bonness, Will and Jeff Presslaff. Rhapsodies By Two
Nowosad, Curtis. Fairwell 274
Propp, Erin. Courage, My Love
Swickis, Mike. Songs I Wrote on the Plane
Watson, Neil. Move!

Kirby, Steve. Stepchild
Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. Glass: The Hours/Symphony No. 3
Nowosad, Curtis. The Skeptic and the Cynic

Bonness, Will. Subtle Fire

Kirby, Steve and Larry Roy. Wicked Grin
Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra. Steppin’ Out

Papa Mambo. Crooked Cha

Papa Mambo. Amanacer