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When pianist Roger Kellaway first thought about becoming a jazz musician in the '50s, keyboard legend Oscar Peterson was hitting his stride with his great trios. They included Ray Brown on bass, and first Barney Kessel, then Herb Ellis on guitar. Peterson's trios were a big influence on Kellaway. As he states in the liner notes, "...that sound they made together. It certainly would have defeated me when I was young because it was so brilliant.... the will to swing that I picked up from him.
This CD, Kellaway's tribute to Peterson, is, in fact, the first time he has recorded in the trio format. Helping immensely here are guitarist Bruce Forman and bassist Dan Lutz. The tunes were all recorded by Peterson. The album is characterized by the group's straight-ahead, hard-driving swing. The ten cuts perfectly capture Peterson's "will to swing, while leaving room for these musicians' expressive talents to come through.
The album also honors other great triosNat Cole and Art Tatum's, specifically. To illustrate, "Moten Swing shows Kellaway getting into a Tatum-like stride groove. On the lightly rhythmic "I'm Smiling Again (a Kellaway original), listen to the way Lutz's bouncy bass line is prominent throughout, with Forman's guitar and Kellaway's piano cohesively joining in. The following "Midnight Sun gives Forman's haunting guitar work a chance to shine.
On "52nd Street Theme, it's like listening to Peterson himself, with Kellaway playing a mile a minute, and again Foreman stands out in the backgroundanother great example of trio interaction. Peterson's "Hymn to Freedom is a great way to end the recording. Kellaway takes this stately gospel-like anthem, building relentlessly until he breaks into a bluesy riff and finally settles into a quietly serene ending.
Track Listing: Killer Joe;Cotton Tail; I Was Doing All Right; Nuages; Night Train; I'm Smiling Again; Midnight Sun; Moten Swing;
52nd Street Theme; Hymn to Freedom.
Personnel: Roger Kellaway: piano; Bruce Forman: guitar; Dan Lutz: drums.
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com