372

Wynton Kelly: Live at the Left Bank Jazz Society

Craig Jolley By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist Wynton Kelly, one of the most respected musicians of his time (1950's - 60's), was better known as a complementary player than band leader. He fit in with countless musical situations (singers, big bands, Coltrane, you name it), and almost anything he played on is worth hearing if only for him. He never meant to upstage anyone, but his ensemble playing was so interesting and full of swing the listener is inevitably drawn to him. His soloing was equally as riveting with ideas pouring out continually. An open-door session like the LBJS with tunes 11 to 25 minutes long (This is a two-CD set.) was ideal for Kelly—the longer he played the better he sounded.

Most of the tunes and arrangements are recycled from the early 60's quartet Kelly co-led with Wes Montgomery ( Smokin' at the Half Note, Verve). Of course the Miles Davis lineage is also apparent although Coleman played in a later band than Kelly and Cobb.

Mr. P.C., a Coltrane blues, serves as the most interesting point of departure, Coleman strolling (without piano accompaniment) briefly in a couple of places and otherwise playing with a more advanced feel. Kelly's intro and opening choruses on the up-tempo On a Clear Day are overwhelmingly infectious in their swing feel.

This recording was not originally intended to be released commercially. The sound is decent considering the circumstances: recorded by a hobbyist on a portable machine, probably reel-to-reel. The balance is not bad, except McClure is barely audible on some cuts. The piano sounds maybe more in tune than the concerts I went to (1970's) at the LBJS. Whatever, the music is so good the sound problems are not noticeable.

Incidentally about five years ago Verve issued a couple of CD's ( Four and Straight No Chaser ) by Joe Henderson with the Kelly trio recorded contemporaneously at the LBJS that are at the same level as this set.


Track Listing: Unit 7; Surrey with the Fringe on Top; On the Trail; Mr. P.C.; On a Clear Day; Here's That Rainy Day; Theme.

Personnel: Wynton Kelly - piano; George Coleman - tenor; Ron McClure - bass; Jimmy Cobb - drums

| Record Label: Blue Moon | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Prick of the Litter" CD/LP/Track Review Prick of the Litter
by Doug Collette
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Solo Plus" CD/LP/Track Review Solo Plus
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 4, 2016
Read "River Silver" CD/LP/Track Review River Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 23, 2016
Read "Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)" CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Henrik Jensen's Followed by Thirteen: Blackwater" CD/LP/Track Review Henrik Jensen's Followed by Thirteen: Blackwater
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "Natural Language" CD/LP/Track Review Natural Language
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!