KENNY BARRON TRIO
LIVE at Bradley's
Everybody Loves My Baby.
Kenny Barron - Piano, Ray Drummond - Double Bass, Ben Riley -
Recorded in April 1996 at Bradley's Piano Room in New York, digitally re-mastered
in June 2000.
Kenny Barron is most famous for his role as leader of the trio, which backs
the majority of the 'big names' in jazz, at one time or another. He is so
good at it, that he could even get along well with Stan Getz, who was notoriously
critical of everyone he played with. There are not too many pianists who
are both sympathetic to the featured artist in an accompanying role and
outstanding soloists themselves; Oscar Peterson is one, Kenny Barron another.
Kenny is also a remarkable jazz educator, he has taught many of today's younger
musicians. Like Peterson he combines excellent technique with perfect taste
and never fails to swing. The support role on this occasion is played by
Ray Drummond who plays in just the right way for this sort of trio, always
sensitive to the soloist and with a fine tone on the instrument. Drummer
Ben Riley confirms something I have felt for a long time, you don't have
to make a lot of noise to swing!
There are five tracks; some 65 minutes of music, each track is long enough
for us to here Kenny's creative improvisations on each sequence. 'Every body
loves my baby' was a favourite tune of Fats Waller, but Kenny Barron turns
it into something new and exciting. 'Solar' is a Miles Davies composition
and the treatment is be-bop piano at it's very best. 'Blue Moon' the Rogers
and Hart standard, is an old tune we have all played many times, but once
again the treatment it receives here revives it. Even the sadness of the
lyric is reflected in parts of the performance, even though there is no vocal!
'Alter Ego' is the composition of another jazz pianist James Williams and
the performance reflects it's romantic theme. 'Canadian Sunset' is a very
well known tune, but it has not occurred on any other CD in my considerable
collection. This interpretation makes me feel it should be heard in a jazz
setting more often, or is it that Kenny Barron has a knack of making every
tune he plays sound like a great jazz vehicle?
The record was recorded at Bradley's, which once upon a time was a famous
Piano Room in New York, where everyone on the New York jazz scene congregated,
before and after work. If Kenny Barron was there often I'm not surprised!
Reviewing this CD has been a most pleasurable experience.
Don Mather is a Saxophone Player and Bandleader in Coventry.