1 Recommend It!

Tom Kennedy: Just Play! (2013)

By Published: | 2,373 views
Tom Kennedy: Just Play! Bassist Tom Kennedy
Tom Kennedy
Tom Kennedy
b.1960
bass
is often relegated to the back of the stage, both in literal and figurative terms. He's an in-demand sideman, well-known for his work with guitarist Mike Stern
Mike Stern
Mike Stern
b.1953
guitar
, his decades-long musical relationship with drummer Dave Weckl
Dave Weckl
Dave Weckl
b.1960
drums
, and his studio work with everybody from guitarist Lee Ritenour
Lee Ritenour
Lee Ritenour
b.1952
guitar
to clarinetist Ken Peplowski
Ken Peplowski
Ken Peplowski
b.1959
clarinet
, but he doesn't get noticed often enough in those situations; he really draws attention, however, when he takes control, as on this standards-based set.

Just Play!, Kennedy's fourth date as a leader, finds the bassist shifting effortlessly between the role of supportive force and that of standout soloist. Every number shines a light on both aspects of his work, as he steps out front for fancy finger workouts and provides propulsion from the great below; the latter skill has been his bread and butter while serving as a sideman, but the former marks him as one of the most formidable bass talents operating today.

Kennedy's in good company on this spirited outing, working with an all-star cast made up of his friends, band mates and occasional employers. Ritenour, Stern, Weckl, some heavy horn talents—like saxophonist George Garzone
George Garzone
George Garzone
b.1950
sax, tenor
and trumpeter Tim Hagans
Tim Hagans
Tim Hagans
b.1954
trumpet
—and pianist Renee Rosnes
Renee Rosnes
Renee Rosnes
b.1962
piano
mix and mingle in different scenarios during this journey through the well-known.

The core trio of Kennedy, Rosnes and Weckl serves as the backbone of the album. They exhibit a springy, swinging sense of style when left alone, as on a bright trio take of "In Your Own Sweet Way," but they also lay the foundation for larger gatherings, like the horn-heavy "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes." The most memorable solos also tend to come from these three, though Garzone gives them a run for their money; his sparring session with Weckl ("What Is This Thing Called Love") and classy stroll through Ellingtonian territory ("In A Sentimental Mood") are standouts.

Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
once said, "Master your instrument, master the music, and then forget all that bullshit and just play." Kennedy took that bit of advice to heart in putting this program together and naming it. As a guiding philosophy, it serves him very well here.


Track Listing: Airegin; Moanin'; The Night Has A Thousand Eyes; Ceora; One Liners; In A Sentimental Mood; Bolivia; In Your Own Sweet Way; What Is This Thing Called Love.

Personnel: Tom Kennedy: acoustic bass; Dave Weckl: drums; Renee Rosnes: piano; George Garzone: tenor saxophone; Mike Stern: guitar; Tim Hagans: trumpet; Lee Ritenour: guitar; John Allred: trombone; Steve Wirts: tenor saxophone.

Record Label: Capri Records


comments powered by Disqus

Weekly Giveaways

Peter Lerner

Peter Lerner

About | Enter

Jamie Saft

Jamie Saft

About | Enter

Sun Trio

Sun Trio

About | Enter

Paul Bley

Paul Bley

About | Enter

Sponsor: Nonesuch Records