Bradley's was a legendary New York City jazz club that for 25 years acted as a gathering place for many of the Big Apple's top musicians, a place to hang out. In 1996, the Kenny Barron Trio dug in before the illustrious audience and played at their best. Barron and drummer Ben Riley were members of Sphere, a quartet (with tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse and bassist Buster Williams) that initially paid tribute to Thelonious Monk. On this trio set, "The Only One" is based on Monk's "Hackensack," Barron takes Thelonious' "Shuffle Boil" as an unaccompanied piano solo, and the threesome jams on "Well You Needn't." The other two songs, the standard "You Don't Know What Love Is" and Barron's "Twilight Song," are not connected to the pianist-composer but are excellent examples of the trio's close interplay and ability to think as one. Barron, bassist Ray Drummond, and Riley had already had a long history together, in groups with Bill Barron, Stan Getz, and Gary Bartz in addition to being independent. The familiarity shows, as does their desire to avoid being predictable. The results are easily recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow