The Jazzcat

Kenny Barron at the Jazz Bakery 2009

by on Apr.11, 2009, under News

Under his spell from the first note, Kenny Barron and his trio release their magic with Kenny’s sweeping runs that dance and sing. Kyoshi Kitagawa is a solid staple in Kenny’s band and his rich resonations get splashed by the touch of the skins and steel of Francisco Mela. There is a framework, a structure, but Kenny and his trio tear down the walls and are free to let the sound be the guide deep into the core of the melody.

Love is dancing in some free three quarter swinging romantic time. I love the way the trio takes their time to let the roundness of the notes ring to perfection.  “Shuffle Oil “ a Thelonious Monk composition was on hit and they worked all the corners brilliantly!

Kenny has no idea what “Shuffle Oil” means and neither do we but one thing is for certain, the Monk stamp is indelible and Kenny swings it with effortless glide. As quiet as it is kept, Monk hardly ever knew what he wanted to name his tunes and the slightest instantaneous suggestion would turn into Monk masteries for life. These cats are in your head not in your face and the swing inhabits a personality that is all its own. Like a character in a beret and scarf ice-skating through a tune with seamless bounce and style!

“Song for Abdullah Ibrahim” featured Kenny on solo piano, of course was inspired by the incredible South African pianist and you can tell that love and respect were key ingredients in the inspiration. Closing your eyes and breathing is probably the best state to remain in; captive by its most beautiful colors in the darkness of the sound .

Effortless is the key and this band takes Kenny’s original “New Samba” to some great places as they play it and play with it! Shortly afterward, Kenny addresses the audience and speculates that most of us are over 30 and yes he is correct in his assumption. He works the standard ballad of “Blue Moon” with significant solo beauty before brilliantly joined in by Francisco and Kyoshi on brush and bottom; definitely a night for love.

If you were fortunate enough to share the space with someone special then your evening was complete, or perhaps it ended up being that way later that evening! If you experienced the music solo, then you took home the idea of love and wearing the melody and in prime space to receive!

LeRoy Downs

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