Peck Kelley

Out of Obscurity

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Peck Kelley went out of his way throughout his career to avoid recording. It was only after his death in 1980 that private tapes were released, allowing listeners to hear how the legendary pianist sounded. This double LP has a short interview with Kelley in the early 1970s, a series of piano solos from 1951 and 1953 and five solos by his friend, fellow pianist Lynn "Son" Harrell. A fascinating set that has not yet been reissued on CD, the performances (decently if not flawlessly recorded) show that Kelley had evolved through the years from a stride player to one not unaware of the music of Lennie Tristano and Bud Powell; an extra bonus is a pretty definitive biographical booklet. A couple sessions acquired by Commodore and released elsewhere also shed some light on Peck Kelley's barely documented legacy.