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Kenny Werner: Effortless Mastery In Motion

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In the early moments of Effortless Mastery: The Four Steps, pianist Kenny Werner notes that he never aspired to be a guru; nevertheless, he's viewed as one by a significant number of musicians. If Werner had never put a single word on paper or shared a single thought about the art of playing, practicing, and learning, he'd still be recognized as a major musical figure. Over the course of the past three-plus decades, he's done everything from solo dates to grand-scale work with orchestras, and he's played with everybody from saxophonist Joe Lovano to harmonica ace Toots ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Sligo Jazz Project 2013: Days 1-3

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Sligo Jazz ProjectVarious VenuesSligo, IrelandJuly 16-21, 2013 For such a small country, perched on the Western extreme of Europe, Ireland has created a disproportionate amount of history, and had more than its fair share thrust upon it. Everywhere, history informs the landscape and the collective memory. Sligo, home to the Sligo Jazz Project is no exception. Megalithic stones--tombs of the ancients--dot the land, and the tombs of Spanish Armada ships and their ghosts lie at the bottom of the sea. Walking from venue to venue around this old town, from workshop to jam ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Werner: Me, Myself and I

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Pianist Kenny Werner, though comparatively unsung, has been appreciated by many since forming a trio in 1981. He is also known for his series of stellar duos with harmonica virtuoso Toots Thieleman. Additionally, he has done yeoman duty with guitarist John Scofield, bassist Dave Holland and saxophonist Joe Lovano, all the while--for more than 20 years--working as arranger and accompanist for singer Betty Buckley.Me, Myself and Iwas recorded solo in Montreal, Canada at the small Upstairs Jazz Bar and Grill club, in June, 2012, during the city's renowned jazz festival. Of this engagement, Werner says that the “ideas ...

NEW YORK BEAT

Symphonic Jazz: Kenny Werner and The Brussels Jazz Orchestra at The Blue Note

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Continuing in the tradition of Thad Jones, Bob Brookmeyer)) and {{Jim McNeely, pianist/composer Kenny Werner has recently employed a leading European orchestra to perform his compositions. The resulting serendipitous marriage between Werner and The Brussels Jazz Orchestra (featured on the Academy Award-winning soundtrack to the 2011 movie, The Artist) produced an evening of intriguing music on April 1, 2012, at the Blue Note. The emergence of excellent jazz orchestras on the continent made international news in 1978 when Thad Jones incorporated some of his Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra charts into the repertoire of the Danish Radio Big ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Werner with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra: Institute of Higher Learning

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Since coming out the other side of a deep personal tragedy, Kenny Werner has resumed his career with a vengeance. First there was No Beginning, No End (Half Note, 2010), which dealt with the tragic loss of his daughter, Katheryn , in a 2006 car accident, as the pianist and wife, Lorraine, found the way from anger and grief to acceptance and hope through spiritual guidance and music. The smaller-scoped but potent Balloons (Half Note, 2011) came a mere six months later, from a 2010 live performance with his regular touring band. Now, just another half-year on, Werner returns with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Werner: Balloons

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Times sure have been tough for pianist Kenny Werner, and yet, he seems to be turning tragedy into triumph, mining the depths of emotion caused by the accidental death of his daughter, Katheryn, in 2006. While he's been playing in the years since, he was noticeably quiet on the recording front until No Beginning, No End (Half Note), released just a short six months ago, in October, 2010. A sweeping, career-defining recording that earned the pianist/composer a Guggenheim Fellowship Award, it dealt with the heart-wrenching process of grief, redemption and hope, its raw catharsis engendering Werner's most ambitious recording to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Werner: No Beginning No End

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Few tragedies strike as hard as that of a child's death preceding that of its parents, something that pianist Kenny Werner and his wife, Lorraine, know far too well. When their daughter, Katheryn, was killed in a 2006 car accident, it sent the couple into a downward spiral from which they were only capable of returning due to the profound strength of their relationship, and the enlightened teachings that, as Werner describes in the almost-too-painful-to-read liner notes to No Beginning No End, “offer us alternative ways to view our lives." The music of No Beginning No End was originally commissioned ...



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