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 ...read more
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, ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more