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In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

CD Review: Tom Kennedy – Just Play

Tom Kennedy (bs); George Garzone (ten); Renee Rosnes (pno); Dave Weckl (dms) + Mike Stern, Lee Ritenour (gtr); John Allred (tmb); Steve Witts (ten).
(Review by Dave Brownlow.)
This album “Just Play” is an unashamedly swinging session led by bassist-extraordinaire Tom Kennedy where he and several friends, accomplished players all, enjoy work-outs on classic material.
The core group is a quartet comprising George Garzone on tenor, Renee Rosnes on piano, Dave Weckl, drums and the leader on acoustic bass, supplemented on separate tracks by Mike Stern on guitar, Tim Hagans on trumpet, Lee Ritenour on guitar, John Allred trombone, and Steve Wirts, tenor.
Sonny Rollins’ Airegin starts us off at a furious tempo with an unpredictable solo from Garzone and a horn-like one from Kennedy himself. Lee Ritenour is next featured on Bobby Timmons’ Moanin with soulful work from the whole quintet. The Night Has a Thousand Eyes follows, featuring Hagans, Allred and Wirts augmenting the quartet into  a nicely arranged performance in which Weckl’s drums “sparkle”. The tempo slows next for a Garzone rendition of Lee Morgan’s Ceora also featuring Rosnes airy, tasteful and flowing piano solo.
On his own One Liners, Mike Stern joins the group for this high energy swinger. Mike uses a distinctive, slightly distorted guitar tone which is reminiscent of Hiram Bullock’s work in Gil Evans’ freewheeling ensemble at The Sweet Basil .This cranks up the excitement level leading into a Rosnes solo which takes one in and out of “Tyner Country” with fleet-fingered right hand work over those memorable tri-tone left hand chords. Duke Ellington’s In a Sentimental Mood follows next at a lively tempo featuring the whole quartet.
Kennedy himself begins Bolivia with Cedar Walton’s familiar opening bass line and continues with a formidable solo showcasing his “monster chops. Renee Rosnes is herself featured next in a beautifully re-harmonised trio version of Brubeck’s In Your Own Sweet Way. Renee’s playing reminds one of Al Haig’s style, with graceful melodic ideas and well spaced-out phrases, combining with a lovely touch at the keyboard making the piano “sing”. Dave would have liked this track…..The album closes with a Rollins Trio-style (tenor/bass/drums) version of What Is This Thing Called Love which allows Garzone great freedom without any chordal support from piano or guitar. Here he goes “inside and outside” on these well-known changes, challenging drummer Weckl to some fiery exchanges en route.
As a bassist Tom Kennedy has the lot. A remarkable technique enables him to hold the rhythm section together whatever the tempo, and take solos which are horn-like in their construction. His tone is full and compelling, even cello-like when he ascends into the higher registers where his intonation is spot-on unlike some other famous players who have found it difficult to achieve ! I’ve not heard the bass played as fast since Scott La Faro’s days – in fact at times you would think Tom’s playing bass-guitar.
Overall, a most spirited and enjoyable CD where Tom’s exhortations to “Just Play” were fully realised by all concerned !
Tom Kennedy – Just Play is available on CAPRI RECORDS  #74122-2
Dave Brownlow

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