456

Kenny Werner: Democracy: Live at The Blue Note

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
Kenny Werner: Democracy: Live at The Blue Note This album, recorded at Blue Note at the beginning of this year, begins in the same manner that Kenny Werner's concert did during last month's residence at the same club: with a solo piano piece that emphasizes the subtleties of the pianist's fingering by exploring the whole keyboard in a classically inspired manner. The band joins in after a few bars, but the focus is mostly on Werner's piano work, showcasing (on stage) the chops of young trumpetist Matt Shulman, who took advantage of the reverb on his mic. (Kenny Wheeler, who performs on the disc, was not present at the gig.) Saxophonist David Sanchez also shines on the tune.

"One for Joni is inspired by the music of Joni Mitchell, whom Werner mentioned listening to while driving back home after a gig. The tune has a folksy, bluesy feel that provides a lot of freedom for the musicians to play around. Certainly one of the best moments in the album, it was also one of the most enjoyable parts of the concert.

The only part of the album (and show) that was not enjoyable was Werner's adaptation of John Williams' "Hedwig's Theme, taken from the soundtrack of the Harry Potter movies. The melody, in its original format, helps bring to life the fantasy of J.K. Rowling's pages, but in a jazz setting it is too tight—and one couldn't help but notice a certain discomfort among the musicians (this comes across on the album as well). It is a difficult theme to work around, and though Werner's quintet nails it well, it is still hard on the ear.

Werner also played two tunes that were not on the Democracy album. "New Amsterdam is between a '70s funk groove and Brubeck-esque feel. The tune, performed mostly as a trio, showcased both bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade's talents. He also played the mellow "Uncovered Heart mostly solo, followed by a sax/trumpet duet, ending with Shulman blowing to create a wind effect. Werner said the song was dedicated to his daughter (who tragically died in a car accident in October) and would be featured on an upcoming disc.

Track Listing: Democracy Now; Fish Gotta Fly; Untitled Lament; One for Joni; Intro to Hedwig's Theme; Hedwig's Theme.

Personnel: Kenny Werner: piano; Brian Blade: drums; Scott Colley: bass; David Sanchez: saxophone; Matt Shulman: trumpet; Kenny Wheeler: trumpet (5,6).

Title: Democracy: Live at the Blue Note | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Half Note Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "An Eclipse Of Images" CD/LP/Track Review An Eclipse Of Images
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "Make The Changes" CD/LP/Track Review Make The Changes
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 12, 2016
Read "Day and Night" CD/LP/Track Review Day and Night
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 18, 2017
Read "Forgiveness Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Forgiveness Suite
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Secular Hymns" CD/LP/Track Review Secular Hymns
by John Eyles
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Ignacio" CD/LP/Track Review Ignacio
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 16, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!