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Reviewers: Don Mather, Marc Bridle, Ian Lace, Peter Woolf, Colin Clarke

LIVE at Bradley's
GITANES 549 099-2


  1. Everybody Loves My Baby.
  2. Solar
  3. Blue Moon
  4. Alter Ego
  5. Canadian Sunset

Kenny Barron - Piano,  Ray Drummond - Double Bass,  Ben Riley - Drums
Recorded in April 1996 at Bradley's Piano Room in New York, digitally re-mastered in June 2000.

Kenny Barron is most famous for his role as leader of the trio, which backs the majority of the 'big names' in jazz, at one time or another. He is so good at it, that he could even get along well with Stan Getz, who was notoriously critical of everyone he played with. There are not too many pianists who are both sympathetic to the featured artist in an accompanying role and outstanding soloists themselves; Oscar Peterson is one, Kenny Barron another. Kenny is also a remarkable jazz educator, he has taught many of today's younger musicians. Like Peterson he combines excellent technique with perfect taste and never fails to swing. The support role on this occasion is played by Ray Drummond who plays in just the right way for this sort of trio, always sensitive to the soloist and with a fine tone on the instrument. Drummer Ben Riley confirms something I have felt for a long time, you don't have to make a lot of noise to swing!

There are five tracks; some 65 minutes of music, each track is long enough for us to here Kenny's creative improvisations on each sequence. 'Every body loves my baby' was a favourite tune of Fats Waller, but Kenny Barron turns it into something new and exciting. 'Solar' is a Miles Davies composition and the treatment is be-bop piano at it's very best. 'Blue Moon' the Rogers and Hart standard, is an old tune we have all played many times, but once again the treatment it receives here revives it. Even the sadness of the lyric is reflected in parts of the performance, even though there is no vocal! 'Alter Ego' is the composition of another jazz pianist James Williams and the performance reflects it's romantic theme. 'Canadian Sunset' is a very well known tune, but it has not occurred on any other CD in my considerable collection. This interpretation makes me feel it should be heard in a jazz setting more often, or is it that Kenny Barron has a knack of making every tune he plays sound like a great jazz vehicle?

The record was recorded at Bradley's, which once upon a time was a famous Piano Room in New York, where everyone on the New York jazz scene congregated, before and after work. If Kenny Barron was there often I'm not surprised!

Reviewing this CD has been a most pleasurable experience.

Don Mather

Don Mather is a Saxophone Player and Bandleader in Coventry.

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