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12,393 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 112 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (Jan. 23).

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Alec Harper & Will Barry live streaming People Time from Kansas Smitty's - Jan. 7

Alec Harper (tenor sax); Will Barry (piano)

(Screenshots courtesy of Ken Drew)

Kansas Smitty's is/was a venue, Kansas Smitty's is/was a band, it's a collective, of which every member is a superlative musician. Two of them were on duty this evening - Stan Getz and Kenny Barron. 

Getz and Barron recorded several sides in Copenhagen back in '91 and this evening Alec Harper blowing tenor and Will Barry at the piano revisited those evenings in the Jazzhus Montmartre. Getz was nearing the end of his life, Barron, some twenty years his junior, was entering his prime and, happily, still with us. Harper and Barry are very much alive and kicking. 
For those residing in BSH's heartland this Kansas Smitty's session perhaps brought to mind Paul Edis' duo performances with reedsmen Alan Barnes, Greg Abate, Graeme Wilson and Vasilis Xenopoulos - an outstanding pianist working with a master saxophonist. Alec Harper's tenor playing is indeed masterful, the amazing thing is, the New York-based Brit, temporarily back home in Dear Old Blighty, is hugely impressive whatever the context. 

East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise (stonking solos from both men), Gone with the Wind (first Barry striding into Cheek to Cheek, Harper quoting Tea for Two), these Kansas Smitty's sessions never fail to deliver. 

Mal Waldron's ballad Sole Eyes, a feature for Harper, Barry, ear cocked, as our tenor man conjured a magical cadenza, this was great stuff. Benny Golson's Stablemates upped the pace, Like Someone in Love threatened to steal the show and then...and then, a Desert Island tune, Night and Day. If Getz was listening up there in the Jazz Club in the Sky he'd be applauding, and if Kenny Barron was online, he'd be thinking: Damn! I'd better up my game!  

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