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A graduate of Scotland's Edinburgh University, Brain Kellock has worked and/or recorded with several jazz notables including Herb Geller, Art Farmer and Sheila Jordan. Now he has released his own album which gives a major nod to Fred Astaire. This album honors Fred Astaire not for his work as a dancer, but as a singer. Astaire probably introduced to the public more entries in the Great American Popular Songbook than any other performer. He was especially favored by Cole Porter. The play list also includes a two-part piece dedicated to Astaire written by bassist Kenny Ellis and drummer John Rae.
Perhaps the characteristic that singles out Kellock's trio from others is the very active work of John Rae on drums. He is no passive timekeeper, but has a lot to say on almost every cut including his alternating rim shots accentuating Kellock's work on "The Continental". Drumming aside, the star of the show is Kellock as it should be. His light, but harmonically inventive playing, gives some new life to these oft played classics. His imagination shines through on such tunes as "Isn't This a Lovely Day". As he plays, one can almost see Astaire and Ginger Rogers floating over the dance floor to this tune in the 1935 film Top Hat. Another winner is his different arrangement of "Something's Got to Give". Usually played at a quick pace, Kellock holds back, playing it slow and soft allowing full exposition of all the tune's crooks and crannies which are lost when played quickly. This arrangement also allows for an agreeable interlude by Ellis. With his dazzling arpeggios, Kellock's virtuosity is put on full display on "They Can't Take away from Me".
The members of the trio have been with each other for quite a spell. They started off in 1988 as the rhythm section for the Scottish band, the John Rae Collective. Their mutual familiarity comes through on their first album which is recommended.Learn more about Kellock at www.cabermusic.com/asbkt.htm.
Track Listing: They Can't That away from Me; The Way You look Tonight; I Won't Dance; I Concentrate on You; The Continental; Fred's Revenge (Part One); Isn't This a Lovely Day; Change Partners; Fred's Revenge (Part Two); Something's Got to Give
Personnel: Brian Kellock - Piano; John Rae - Drums; Kenny Ellis - Bass
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.