158

Kenny Davern: No One But Kenny

By

Sign in to view read count
Kenny Davern: No One But Kenny The album title could stand as a fitting epitaph for clarinetist Kenny Davern, who died of a heart attack in December, 2006 at seventy-one. For no one else played jazz quite like Davern, whose affection for old trad jazz tunes belied a quirky sense of time as singular as Thelonious Monk's and a cavalier attitude toward such traditions as chord changes, bar lines and conventional pitch. Like Sonny Rollins, another jazz musician fond of old tunes, Davern was a master of his instrument, in command of all its varieties of tonal and timbral hues from top to bottom. And he also liked to improvise on melodies and rhythms more than harmonies.

This album is a bit of an anomaly in Davern's recent discography (he preferred working with guitarists rather than pianists for over a decade), a return to the classic clarinet-piano-drums format of New Orleans, Chicago and Swing Era jazz. Pianist David Boeddinghaus and drummer Trevor Richards are both latter-day secular saints of traditional New Orleans style jazz. But Richards' rather spare snare and bass drumming complements Davern's freewheeling approach and Boeddinghaus' barrelhouse stride provides rhythmic ballast too.

They are thoroughly idiomatic players, while Davern, although completely comfortable within the idiom, remains an idiosyncratic player. Just listen to his clarinet, all glisses, slips and slurs in his opening choruses on "Moonglow, burst back in after the piano solo with squiggly trills and pungent cries. Or catch his octave leaps and abstract coda on "There is No Greater Love, asymmetrical phrasing on "My Honey's Loving Arms and sustained melodic invention in a solo on "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho that rises slowly through all registers of the clarinet, from chalumeau low to piping high.

And always there's that indefatigable swing and coursing, sustained volume—a sound that made Davern an implacable foe of amplification on gigs. With a sound as big and rich as that, who needed a microphone?


Track Listing: Sugar; Moonglow; No One Else But You; DBR Drag; You're Lucky to Me; Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho; Tishomingo Blues; All by Myself ; Pretty Baby (Clarinet/Piano Duet); (There Is) No Greater Love; Beale Street Blues (Piano Solo); My Honey's Loving Arms.

Personnel: David Boeddinghaus: piano; Trevor Richards: drums; Kenny Davern: clarinet.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Sackville | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
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 "Sir Nebula" CD/LP/Track Review Sir Nebula
by Doug Collette
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "The Core Trio Live, featuring Matthew Shipp" CD/LP/Track Review The Core Trio Live, featuring Matthew Shipp
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2016
Read "La vie commence ici" CD/LP/Track Review La vie commence ici
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 20, 2016
Read "Silk & Steel" CD/LP/Track Review Silk & Steel
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "I Long to See You" CD/LP/Track Review I Long to See You
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 11, 2016
Read "More Essentials" CD/LP/Track Review More Essentials
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 12, 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!