151

Roger Kellaway: Roger Kellaway Live at the Jazz Standard

Andrew Velez By

Sign in to view read count
Roger Kellaway: Roger Kellaway Live at the Jazz Standard
Pianist Roger Kellaway can swing hard and has played with everyone from Sonny Rollins to Joni Mitchell. His knowledge of music is encyclopedic and his pianism is instantly recognizable for its airy, sparkling quality, flowing from a singular skill he has to incorporate stride, swing, boogie and more into something totally modern. Long an in-demand sideman, Kellaway has too rarely recorded fronting his own group. Which brings us to the happy occasion of this live 2006 Jazz Standard set with his "East Coast group" (he also maintains a "West Coast group").

The opener here is Duke Ellington's "Cottontail," on which Kellaway exhibits finger-twisting runs in company with Stefon Harris guesting on vibes. It's a breathtaking turn that leads into yet more Ellington joy with "C Jam Blues" on which Russell Malone's guitar propels even more non-stop swinging.

If further evidence was needed of Kellaway's diversity, the Russian classical cellist Borislav Strulev joins the festivities for the leader's "All My Life." The chamber-style duet is as deep and passionate as it is resonant. Kellaway's approach to Dave Brubeck's hit, Paul Desmond's "Take Five" begins lightly and gently skipping; he seamlessly shifts from soft to emphatic chords and, with Jay Leonhart's bass and Malone's guitar, builds to a bedazzling crescendo of fresh possibilities. This is followed by a sweet meditation on "The Nearness of You" joined by Malone and Harris.

Pushing musical explorations even further, the second disc opens with "Tumbling Tumbleweeds." "Tumbling Tumbleweeds"? Who knew? It's just further proof of Kellaway's ability to unearth fresh rhythms and find unlikely places in which to swing. Turning to the more familiar jazz terrain of Redman-Gilbert's "Cherry," Kellaway recalls the hard swinging sound of the early Nat King Cole Trio. On the closer, Monk's "52nd Street Theme," all hands cut loose to go way past the speed limit. When they called this a "live set" they weren't kidding.

Track Listing

CD1: Cottontail; C Jam Blues; Someday My Prince Will Come; All My Life; I'm Beginning to See the Light; Take Five; The Nearness of You; Doxy. CD2: Tumbling Tumbleweeds; Cherry; You Don't Know What Love Is; Freddie Freeloader; 52nd Street Theme.

Personnel

Roger Kellaway: piano; Russell Malone: guitar; Stefon Harris: vibes; Jay Leonhart: bass; Borislav Strulev: cello.

Album information

Title: Live At The Jazz Standard | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: IPO Recordings

Post a comment about this album

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.