All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

2

Tom Kennedy: Just Play!

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Bassist Tom Kennedy is often relegated to the back of the stage, both in literal and figurative terms. He's an in-demand sideman, well-known for his work with guitarist Mike Stern, his decades-long musical relationship with drummer Dave Weckl, and his studio work with everybody from guitarist Lee Ritenour to clarinetist Ken Peplowski, but he doesn't get noticed often enough in those situations; he really draws attention, however, when he takes control, as on this standards-based set.

Just Play!, Kennedy's fourth date as a leader, finds the bassist shifting effortlessly between the role of supportive force and that of standout soloist. Every number shines a light on both aspects of his work, as he steps out front for fancy finger workouts and provides propulsion from the great below; the latter skill has been his bread and butter while serving as a sideman, but the former marks him as one of the most formidable bass talents operating today.

Kennedy's in good company on this spirited outing, working with an all-star cast made up of his friends, band mates and occasional employers. Ritenour, Stern, Weckl, some heavy horn talents—like saxophonist George Garzone and trumpeter Tim Hagans—and pianist Renee Rosnes mix and mingle in different scenarios during this journey through the well-known.

The core trio of Kennedy, Rosnes and Weckl serves as the backbone of the album. They exhibit a springy, swinging sense of style when left alone, as on a bright trio take of "In Your Own Sweet Way," but they also lay the foundation for larger gatherings, like the horn-heavy "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes." The most memorable solos also tend to come from these three, though Garzone gives them a run for their money; his sparring session with Weckl ("What Is This Thing Called Love") and classy stroll through Ellingtonian territory ("In A Sentimental Mood") are standouts.

Charlie Parker once said, "Master your instrument, master the music, and then forget all that bullshit and just play." Kennedy took that bit of advice to heart in putting this program together and naming it. As a guiding philosophy, it serves him very well here.

Track Listing: Airegin; Moanin'; The Night Has A Thousand Eyes; Ceora; One Liners; In A Sentimental Mood; Bolivia; In Your Own Sweet Way; What Is This Thing Called Love.

Personnel: Tom Kennedy: acoustic bass; Dave Weckl: drums; Renee Rosnes: piano; George Garzone: tenor saxophone; Mike Stern: guitar; Tim Hagans: trumpet; Lee Ritenour: guitar; John Allred: trombone; Steve Wirts: tenor saxophone.

Title: Just Play! | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Capri Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Points of View

Points of View

Self Produced
2017

buy
Just Play!

Just Play!

Capri Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Doug Collette
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Colours of Sound CD/LP/Track Review
Colours of Sound
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 23, 2018
Read A Blast From The Past CD/LP/Track Review
A Blast From The Past
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Rhapsody CD/LP/Track Review
Rhapsody
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2018
Read You're Driving Me Crazy CD/LP/Track Review
You're Driving Me Crazy
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 22, 2018
Read "In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983" CD/LP/Track Review In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read "Baby It's Cold Outside" CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Harlem" CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "The Last Sense To Leave Us – A Tribute To Pauline Oliveros" CD/LP/Track Review The Last Sense To Leave Us – A Tribute To Pauline...
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Memories of Maynard" CD/LP/Track Review Memories of Maynard
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 20, 2018
Read "Compassion: The Music Of John Coltrane" CD/LP/Track Review Compassion: The Music Of John Coltrane
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 3, 2017