All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
The Roger Kellaway Trio has no drummer. Rhythm isn't a problem though, since this group swings so well, but harmony is another matter. It's a challenge that pianist Roger Kellaway takes seriously, with considerable success. The Oscar Peterson trios with guitar, Kellaway's first and main influence, have paved the way for him to get excited about the chamber-jazz swing style that he exudes through such favorite chestnuts as "Moten Swing, "Killer Joe, "Night Train, "Cotton Tail and "I Was Doing All Right. The pianist is comfortable in the company of guitarist Bruce Forman and double bassist Dan Lutz as he gathers the momentum to swing lightly across jazz's last half-century.
"Nuages takes us back much further, with deep feelings that fall from Forman's guitar in soft bunches. He and Kellaway share a love for filling empty spots in the song with clusters of sixteenth-notes that they provide in flurries. It allows them to color the pure melodic theme with cascades and showers. Lutz, with a pulsating emphasis that pervades each selection, carries the walking rhythms with class. His feature on Kellaway's "I'm Smiling Again, a strong swinger, serves as a stellar example of the restraint that he employs while merging his instrument's big acoustic voice with those of the others.
Kellaway draws inspiration not only from his mentors, but also from the songs themselves and from his two musical partners. The trio forms a cohesive alliance all session long. At the piano, Kellaway delivers a sparkling performance that drives with clarity. His interpretation of "Midnight Sun washes dreamily as if coming to shore on a remote beach, while several jauntier numbers capture the tradition that he's held onto for all these years. Kellaway, 68, studied piano and double bass at the New England Conservatory and went on to a varied jazz career that has included such diverse aspects as starring in The Chico Hamilton Quartet and serving as Bobby Darin's musical director. His music remains original; yet he's never lost sight of the energy given him by his musical heroes.
Track Listing: Killer Joe; Cotton Tail; I Was Doing All Right; Nuages; Night Train; Im Smiling Again; Midnight Sun; Moten Swing; 52nd Street Theme; Hymn to Freedom.
Personnel: Roger Kellaway: piano; Bruce Forman: guitar; Dan Lutz: bass.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach. I fell in love with it. I wondered around until the owner (Pedro Soto) asked if I needed help. He then introduced me to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan and the rest is history. I walked out of the store with my first jazz recording: Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street.