All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

10

Kenny Barron: Concentric Circles

Mike Jurkovic By

Sign in to view read count
Hard to believe that, as Kenny Barron turns 75, Concentric Circles is his Blue Note debut, one that is as muscular, fleet, and entertaining as any debut by any man two-thirds his age.

Trust Barron's deeply-versed quintet to swing like a big band plus, and "DPW" leaps out at you with a jumping, bop personality, the flaring horns immediately announcing the dance floor open, and an Afro-Latin fused rhythmic dynamic that's impossible not to move to. Always a passionate player and a writer with a tight, expansive flair, Barron—like Duke or Mingus—is devoted to the expression of each player within the whole. The 11-song disc opens with four Barron compositions that span the full spectrum. The waltzing title track unfolds itself gracefully, with stalwart bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa and drummer Jonathan Blake holding the center as Barron leads trumpeter Mike Rodriquez and saxophonist Danya Stephens into mercurial solos and delightful duet flights. Ditto "Blue Waters," the 6/8 lead track on Blue Note's, Jazz Now!, Apple Music, and Spotify's playlists.

The moody, bluesy "A Short Journey" captivates from the start, with Blake's delicate cymbal work and Barron's quiet, expectant runs setting the atmosphere for Stephens and Rodriquez equally triumphant, reflective solos. Ever entranced by the airiness of Brazilian music, the quintet's take on Caetsno Veloso's "Aquele frevo axe" serves to lighten the mood from the rumination of the previous track. That the next Barron original, the fleet-footed "Von Hangman" covers so much ground in under five minutes is yet another testament to Barron's compositional style. Stunningly, the quintet moves effortlessly from the dancing "Von Hangman" to the midnight-blue balladry of "In The Dark," certainly one of the leader's latter-day masterpieces. Lenny White's exuberant "L's Bop" gets a jovial, illuminating treatment, as does Barron's continuing testimony to one of his guideposts, Thelonious Monk, going solo and sumptuous on Monk's ever-brilliant "Reflections."

Oh, if only everyone would debut with this level of heart, artistry and sincerity. Imagine the music we would delight in.

Track Listing: DPW; Concentric Circles; Blue Waters; A Short Journey; Aquele frevo axe; Von Hangman; In the Dark; Baile; L’s Bop; I’m Just Sayin’; Reflections.

Personnel: Kenny Barron: Piano; Dayna Stephens: Saxophone; Mike Rodriguez: Trumpet; Kiyoshi Kitagawa: Bass; Johnathan Blake: Drums.

Title: Concentric Circles | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Super Mood CD/LP/Track Review
Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018
Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "EP 1" CD/LP/Track Review EP 1
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 16, 2018
Read "Ts'iibil Chaaltun" CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Life Anthem" CD/LP/Track Review Life Anthem
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 20, 2018
Read "D'Agala" CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 13, 2018
Read "Chansons Du Crepuscule" CD/LP/Track Review Chansons Du Crepuscule
by Don Phipps
Published: January 3, 2018
Read "Explosion" CD/LP/Track Review Explosion
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 9, 2018