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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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The Melody




1.Try to remember




5.Voncify the Emulyans

6.In your own sweet way

7.Beauty secrets

Kenny Werner (piano), Johannes Weidenmueller (bass), Ari Hoenig (drums)

rec.September 29/30, 2014 at James L. Dolan Studios, NYU, New York, USA [56:48]

For the umpteenth time I sit here feeling inadequate because I didnít know of a jazz musician before I had their disc to review. In this case I didnít know the name Kenny Werner. Is it because I donít listen to enough jazz or just that there are so many musicians out there many simply slip past my radar screen; I suspect itís a bit of both. The main thing now is to enjoy his music now Iíve found it which is easy to do as itís so...well musical. This trio of marvellous players donít involve themselves in fancy self-indulgence that seems to ensnare many contemporary jazz musicians who tend to believe that if they donít bring something entirely Ďnewí to the table theyíre are not demonstrating their creativity. This is a totally erroneous view in my opinion and which is also counter-productive since in the words of a friend of mine Ďthose who only play for themselves will end up only playing to themselvesí while Kenny Wernerís music makes you want to share it with others immediately.

Iíve been trying to analyse the instant appeal this disc has given me and I think it is the wonderful balance between the three musicians, each of them protagonists, each of them with space to shine and make their own mark yet who meld into such a homogenous whole. Maybe that is the particularly special ingredient of a trio that makes such a format so attractive and successful.

Enough analysing, what about the music I hear you cry...well itís brilliant but with what Iíve said above it could hardly be described as anything else. Kenny has sensibly interspersed his own original compositions with some great tunes from other sources: the wonderfully melodious Try to remember along with John Coltraneís 26-2 and the late and still hugely lamented Dave Brubeckís In your own sweet way, all cooked to perfection with what I now recognise as Kenny Wernerís customary and consummate musicality. With his own compositions I had that fascinating experience I frequently get with really good writing when I think Iíve heard the tune before but clearly canít have; his Balloons is a case in point. If you like your jazz simply but beautifully stated and that keeps a smile on your face from start to finish look no further because this is for you.

Steve Arloff

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