Kenny Drew, Jr. Trio

Portraits of Mingus & Monk

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This is one of Kenny Drew, Jr.'s finest recordings. Teamed in a trio with bassist Lynn Seaton (whose bowed solos are a constant highlight) and drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Drew performs five Thelonious Monk songs and five from Charles Mingus. Other than "Ruby, My Dear," none of the tunes are played all that often, so it is a particular pleasure hearing Drew dig into such songs as "Work," "Trinkle-Tinkle," "Skippy," "Nobody Knows," and "Farewell Farwell." The Mingus tunes, in particular, sound fresh, new, and transformed in the piano trio setting. Drew Jr. displays both the technique and the imagination to make this often-difficult music sound effortless and logical. Highly recommended.

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