In January 1958, producer Orrin Keepnews brought pianist Wynton Kelly and guitarist Kenny Burrell into the studio. Although he had for years been a highly regarded sideman with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young and Dinah Washington, Kelly had only cut one date as a leader prior to this -- and that had been seven years earlier. Whisper Not showcases Kelly and Burrell in a trio setting with bassist Paul Chambers, and for one side adds drummer Philly Joe Jones. The tunes include Harold Arlen's "Ill Wind," Billie Holiday's "Don't Explain," and the title track, penned for the Gillespie band by Benny Golson. Unfortunately, Kelly is not given an opportunity to shine in the conventional piano trio setting -- with only bass and drums -- a format in which he excelled. His distinctive drive and buoyant swing feel is in evidence, however, and despite a less than perfect audio mix (a bit dry), Whisper Not is recommended as an important recording in the oeuvre of Wynton Kelly.
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AllMusic Review by Lee Bloom