Just five months before he passed away last year at the age of 85, guitarist George Van Eps performed a few Father’s Day quartet sets at a small restaurant near his home in Southern California with local artists. Sharing a memory with the audience of bouncing on George Gershwin’s knee as a small child, Van Eps reminded everyone that classic songs live forever. Kenny Poole’s tribute to Van Eps features a sense of style similar to the master’s: gentle swinging melodies, supportive harmony, and a walking bass line that comes from the extra effort applied to the guitar’s lowest string. John Von Ohlen lends his brushwork and Dick Sisto provides a vibes stretch for five tracks; the other numbers feature Poole’s solo guitar.
Adding the essential elements of melody, harmony, and rhythm with swing, Poole states the familiar tunes and works his way smoothly through improvised extras. The rhythm of his guitar walking-bass self-accompaniment works well, especially on the bossa "Ah! Se Eu Pudesse." The guitarist even adds a brief bass line solo to "Lullabye of Birdland." Like Van Eps, Poole swings the session in predictable but comfortable fashion.
Track Listing: Just You, Just Me; Come Rain or Come Shine; You Make Me Feel So Young; Gone With the Wind; Gee Baby, Ain
Personnel: Kenny Poole- guitar; John Von Ohlen- drums; Dick Sisto- vibes.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.