215

Kenny Barron: The Traveler

Florence Wetzel By

Sign in to view read count
Kenny Barron: The Traveler The Traveler is a delicious offering of ten beautiful songs by pianist Kenny Barron. Eight of the tunes were composed by Barron, and each one is brimming with his famous lyricism. Most of the songs feature solid underpinning by Kiyoshi Kitagawa (bass) and Francisco Mela (drums), and in addition the CD features a variety of guests who add their own unique voices.

Soprano saxophonist Steve Wilson, a superb player with an intimate, conversational tone, appears on three tunes. He joins the trio for the opening title track, a gentle, emotive song with a touch of melancholy. It's easy to see why Wilson resonates with Barron; both play with effortless ease and utter lack of pretension. On "Speed Trap" the pace is fast, as promised by the title; Barron presses the gas and the band cooks along happily. Wilson also shines on "Illusion," a richly poignant ballad centered upon Wilson's tender, contemplative sax.

Another impressive contributor is guitarist Lionel Loueke, who joins in on three tunes. Loueke pairs with Barron on the appropriately titled "Duet," an engaging song that finds Barron in a playful mood and showcases Loueke's lyrical agility. "Calypso" is a lively song with a delightful bounce and fine lines by Loueke, and the haunting "Phantom" includes Loueke's impressive vocals.

Other treats include "Um Beijo," which features vocals by the eminent Grady Tate, as well as the album closer, a Barron solo on Eubie Blake's "Meaning of You." The latter is pure Barron, his playing resonating elegant warmth that expresses the melody's heart. Altogether The Traveler is a fresh, energetic album that showcases Barron and his formidable talents, but also points the spotlight on his talented collaborators.

Track Listing: The Traveler; Clouds; Speed Trap; Um Beijo; The First Year; Illusion; Duet; Phantoms; Calypso; Memories Of You.

Personnel: Kenny Barron: piano; Kiyoshi Kitagawa: bass; Francisco Mela: drums; Steve Wilson: soprano sax (1, 3, 6); Lionel Louek

Title: The Traveler | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Good Merlin CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Air and Light and Time and Space" CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "April" CD/LP/Track Review April
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "Left" CD/LP/Track Review Left
by John Sharpe
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "With You In Mind" CD/LP/Track Review With You In Mind
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: August 12, 2017
Read "A Home In Between" CD/LP/Track Review A Home In Between
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "Petite Afrique" CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.