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Dave McKenna

Dave McKenna is simply one of the legends of the jazz piano. He, of course, would probably disagree. "I don't know if I qualify as a bona-fide jazz guy," he says. "I play saloon piano. I like to stay close to the melody." His humility and laid-back personal style seem a contrast to the vibrant vitality of his masterful piano style. His range is truly extraordinary. One minute he is caressing a lovely ballad, the next he is thundering and rumbling through a high-powered rendition of I Found a New Baby. Dave was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, into a musical family. His father William McKenna, a postman, played the drums part-time, and two sisters are singers

NEWS: CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN

Gentle Giant: A Film About Dave McKenna needs your support

Gentle Giant: A Film About Dave McKenna needs your support

Described by the New York Times as the “hardest swinging pianist of all time", Dave McKenna's rare genius on the piano went largely unnoticed by the music world, until now. At a young age, Dave played with jazz-giants like Gene Krupa and Stan Getz. He went on to have an extensive recording career and played with ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Bastards under the Mistletoe

Read "Bastards under the Mistletoe" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

The holidays and jazz go together like milk and cookies left out for Santa. You're not sure if they're going to be taken or will still be there getting warm in the morning, but it's the spirit of the thing that matters. In this very special episode, the boys look at various holiday jazz offerings (three ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Alan Pasqua: Keys That Unlock Many Doors

Read "Alan Pasqua: Keys That Unlock Many Doors" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Recently, and just a few days before Thanksgiving (2019), I was thankful for the opportunity to have two separate conversations with renown pianist Alan Pasqua. As generous with his time and candid commentary as he is talented as a musician and composer, both conversations crashed the one-hour mark. For you non mathematicians, that is over two ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Listeners' Favorites

Read "Listeners' Favorites" reviewed by Marc Cohn

The number of the day is 5 (as in Show 385), which means it's time for listeners' favorites—the tunes that moved you from Gifts & Messages (Shows 371-380). Some old, some more recent. Enjoy the ride (it's granulated), and thanks for your comments and your ears.Thanks to our most active listeners of the week ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

May Jazz Birthdays

Read "May Jazz Birthdays" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Miles, Gil, Papa Joe, Sidney & Paul! May birthdays on Gifts & Messages! We also celebrate pianists Stanley Cowell, John Lewis, Sun Ra & Dave McKenna; vocalists Shirley Horn & Betty Carter; saxophonists Arthur Blythe & Sonny Fortune; guitarist Jimmy Ponder, bassist Ron Carter, B-3 master Richard Holmes & flautist James Newton. Do enjoy the show! ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike Jones/Penn Jillette: The Show Before The Show

Read "The Show Before The Show" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

If you travel to Sin City and visit the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino at the appointed time, you'll find legendary duo Penn & Teller entertaining a packed house in their namesake theater with their signature blend of magic and humor. But if you get there forty-five minutes early, you get so much more with the ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

Pianist and Educator Jimmy Amadie Passes Away at Age 76 After Long Battle with Cancer

Pianist and Educator Jimmy Amadie Passes Away at Age 76 After Long Battle with Cancer

Jimmy Amadie, the celebrated jny: Philadelphia pianist and educator known for his contributions in improvisational jazz theory, passed away on December 10, 2013 in Philadelphia, PA. He was 76. His death comes after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007. Amadie was known not only for his supreme musicality, but also for his unrelenting fighting spirit. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike Jones Trio: Plays Well with Others

Read "Plays Well with Others" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Pianist Mike Jones not only Plays Well with Others, he plays well--period. Using a sharp, two-fisted style that hearkens back to Dave McKenna, Dick Hyman and even Earl Hines, undergirded by a buoyant melodicism worthy of Barry Harris, Tommy Flanagan or his namesake Hank Jones, it's clear there's not much that Jones can't accomplish musically with ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Joe Holt: In the Spirit of Dave McKenna

Read "In the Spirit of Dave McKenna" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The late Dave McKenna (1930-2008) belonged to a group of pianists that include Ralph Sutton (1922-2001), Dick Wellstood (1927-1987) and the very much alive Dick Hyman. These are durable, traditional jazz pianists, well-versed in stride, with enormous genre and technical vocabularies. McKenna recorded many enjoyable discs for the Concord and Arbors labels and deserves the acknowledgement ...


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