Consisting of all original compositions, Mike Kennedy's self-produced Idle Afternoon stays firmly based in the pre-hard bop lexicon, interpreting swinging and straight-ahead tunes. A Philadelphia-based guitarist, Kennedy possesses a rich, thick, soulful sound. The opening "I'll Take Two features Kennedy laying down some harmonious and stimulating lines. The album's piece de resistance is the closing track, "Days End, where he performs a three-plus minute solo. Throughout the recording, Kennedy eschews flashy displays and sticks with ballads and mid-tempo pieces. His playing displays first-class technique and an impeccable sense of time.
Pianist Mike Frank also stands out here, providing tasteful comping on the title track as well as "Gilded Garden. Frank gets the chance to step into spotlight on "Territory and "Walk In The Park, and he takes full advantage by providing some forceful solo work. Frank's supportive playing throughout the release enables Kennedy to take flight, and the interplay between the two is one of the highlights of this release.
The rhythm section also features bassist Paul Gehman and drummer Dan Monaghan, and they do an admirable job of keeping the music flowing. Monaghanwho was also on board on Kennedy's 2002 debut release, Quartet #1seems to possess the same the sensibilities as the leader. Subtly propelling the music when needed, or coloring the tunes with his understated playing, he proves to be a perfect complement to the others.
Idle Afternoon is an excellent foray in mainstream jazz guitar. One often expects a certain freshness in a recording of all-original music, but one does not always expect the well crafted, harmonically rich music found here. Listeners who enjoy this genre will find much to savor on this recording.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!
Find All About Jazz articles, news, musician pages, and more!