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 Jr. and Harris accentuate the familiar melody with a series of subtle inflections and silky smooth grooves, whereas the band also tackles works by Manfredo Fest, Bill Evans, Fred Hersch, Jobim, Monk, and others. However, it all boils down to a bunch of extremely talented cats conveying richly thematic lyricism with flair and grace! - Whether perpetuating a hard driving swing vamp or executing a tender ballad, this ensemble delivers the goods in prominent fashion, thanks in part to Kenny Drew Jr’s shrewd comping, blazing single note runs and strong melodic gifts. Overall, Rememberance spawns additional credence to the pianist’s tasteful and resourceful approach to jazz music. Recommended!