Amazon.com Widgets

Recent Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Drew, Jr. and Larry Coryell: Duality

Read "Duality" reviewed by

The jazz duo affords its participants wonderful opportunities to stretch out creatively. Ideas, suggestions and negotiations of all musical kinds percolate back and forth. And, in the best of instances, they birth new nuggets for further development and exploration. At the same time, the duet framework can possibly limit, as competitive natures and stylistic dichotomies might overtake the mutual partnership and pose distraction. Duality, which features the marvelous talents of pianist Kenny Drew, Jr. and guitarist Larry Coryell, epitomizes the absolute best in piano-guitar duo playing. The improvisational banter, the interplay and feeding of ideas throughout this ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Kenny Drew Trio: At The Brewhouse

Read "Kenny Drew Trio: At The Brewhouse"

Kenny Drew Trio At The Brewhouse Storyville 2007

Kenny Drew had a marvellous sense of harmony, phrasing and timing on the piano. Whether he lingered on a note, or let it pass by in a wisp, the impression was delectable. His touch was magic.

Drew's early influences were Fats Waller, Art Tatum and Teddy Wilson, all of whom he encapsulated in his playing even as he went on to develop a vocabulary of his own. He recorded several albums as a sideman in the 1950s, including the legendary Blue Train (Blue Note, ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Kenny Drew: Farmers Market (RVG); Undercurrent (RVG) and In Copenhagen

Read "Kenny Drew: Farmers Market (RVG); Undercurrent (RVG) and In Copenhagen"

Art Farmer Farmer's Market (RVG) Blue Note 2007 Kenny Drew Undercurrent Blue Note 2007 Warne Marsh/Kenny Drew In Copenhagen Storyville 2007

Mention to an aficionado the name Kenny Drew and the first thing to come to mind will undoubtedly be the pianist's inclusion on the 1957 jazz juggernaut Blue Train by John Coltrane, one of the genre's all-time bestselling albums. Appear on a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Drew: Undercurrent

Read "Undercurrent" reviewed by

The only Blue Note recording under pianist Kenny Drew's leadership and the last to be released under his name for a thirteen-year period, during which time the pianist would relocate to Europe, Undercurrent is a strong outing by the gifted pianist, composer and session leader. In the latter capacity, his job is greatly facilitated by a frontline of saxophonist Hank Mobley and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, whose instant compatibility had been established just weeks earlier on Mobley's sterling Roll Call (Blue Note, 1960). Moreover, the rhythm team of bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes had become one of the more ...

MEGAPHONE

What the F**k Happened to Black Popular Music?

Read "What the F**k Happened to Black Popular Music?"

I've decided to add this section to my website as a vehicle to express my views on various topics, musical and otherwise, that have been on my mind lately. You may wonder why I'm talking about popular music in this first installment, since I am generally thought of as a “jazz" musician. However, anyone who knows me knows that my tastes in music are very eclectic (as are those of most jazz musicians, quiet as it's kept). In fact when I started my career as a professional musician, I was not playing jazz. I started out playing in R&B groups ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Drew Jr. Trio: Remembrance

Read "Remembrance"

Let’s amble back to the simple but productive days of piano jazz before every niche of playing style created a new genre, before the words genius and nuance were overused to the point of covetousness. To hear Kenny at the head of tracks like ‘Song for Manfredo’ by Lili Fest renews my roving eye back to instrumental jazz. Experimental stuff is fine, but there’s a reason mainstream is called what it is. It speaks clearly, concisely, and it is never afraid of the spooky and compelling term POP.

Neither is Kenny and crew, working their way thru 70 minutes and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Drew Jr. Trio with guests: Wallace Roney & Stefon Harris: Remembrance

Read "Remembrance"

It’s difficult to fathom that the wondrously adept pianist Kenny Drew Jr. (son of jazz trumpeter Kenny Drew) is a self-taught musician. And with his latest release titled Remembrance, he pays homage to three sadly departed jazz luminaries; Milt Jackson, Art Farmer and Manfredo Fest. Here, the pianist garners additional support from vibraphonist Stefon Harris and trumpeter Wallace Roney who appear on selected tracks.

Essentially, Drew is a musician who can successfully equalize his vast repertoire and altogether enviable technique with subtle elegance and fiery dynamics amid interludes of various tempos and sentiment. On Milt Jackson’s classic “Bags Groove”, Drew ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Drew Jr.: This One's For Bill

Read "This One's For Bill"

It is not difficult to measure how much influence the late Bill Evans has exerted over the young pianists of today. The impact of his playing can be heard, in varying degrees, in virtually every pianist that followed him. That's because he changed the way piano players approach the instrument, moving away from a strict bebop vocabulary, and bringing to fore the piano's inherent orchestral abilities through dense harmonies and sweeping melodic lines. Evans employed an introspective approach, gracefully caressing the keyboard with an uncommon subtlety not found in the bop pianists of the fifties. He used chord voicings that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Drew Jr. Sextet: Crystal River

Read "Crystal River"

On “Crystal River” the gifted Pianist Kenny Drew Jr. performs lavishly and shows maturity as a composer and stylist. Drew and his Sextet bridge the gap between West Coast cool and East Coast bravado while effectively performing in the vein of classic Jazz Messengers or early 1960’s Lee Morgan yet the feel is modern and fresh. On Drew Jr.’s “Confrontation” the Sextet display a big sound that is crisp, clean and spirited. This piece grabs you from the onset with a catchy and memorable melody featuring Drew Jr.’s fabulous technique complete with swirling chord structures, compelling use of tremolo and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Howard McGhee, The Kenny Drew Trio, The Tal Farlow Quartet: Howard McGhee and Howard McGheeVolume 2

Read "Howard McGhee and Howard McGheeVolume 2"

Who is Howard McGhee?. Howard McGhee (1918 - 1987) today might be considered a footnote (albeit a large one) in jazz. But, during the rise of Bebop in the mid '40s to '50s he was considered one of the most technically proficient and inventive trumpeters performing. Critic Scott Yanow defined McGhee as the “missing [influential] link" between Roy Eldridge and Theodore “Fats" Navarro, the latter going onto influence Clifford Brown, who in turn influenced many other trumpet players in the 1950s and '60s. McGhee was prominent on both the East and West Coasts, being present to the fabled Minton's after-hours ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Drew Jr.: Passionata

Read "Passionata"

Beautiful music, beautifully recorded and played. Pianist Kenny Drew Jr.'s love for and debt to his late father are apparent with almost every note he plays on Passionata, the title selection of which was drawn from a sketchy outline that young Kenny found in his father's desk after Drew Sr. passed away in 1993. This is basically Kenny's trio augmented on four tracks ("Dark Beauty," “Serenity," “Evening in the Park," the reprise of “Passionata" that closes the session) by a string section conducted by Bob Belden. Washington is a sure-fingered and reliable bassist, and Nash is one of my favorite ...



Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

About | Enter

Tom Chang

Tom Chang

About | Enter

Cedar Walton

Cedar Walton

About | Enter

Sheryl Bailey

Sheryl Bailey

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Community Members

Join our growing community of
writers, musicians, visual artists and advocates.

Join Us Today!