Kenny Drew, Jr.

The Rainbow Connection

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Kenny Drew, Sr. was so legendary a pianist that Kenny Drew, Jr. was bound to be compared to his father, however hard he fought to establish his own identity. And the fact that they played the same instrument didn't exactly discourage comparisons. But the son is very much his own man, and his individuality asserts itself on The Rainbow Connection, which was recorded when he was a month away from his 30th birthday. Drew has competent support in bassist Charnett Moffett, drummer Cody Moffett and trumpeter Terence Blanchard, and he proves that he's no clone of his father on material ranging from "Invitation" to the Thelonious Monk classics "Rhythm-A-Ning" and "Boo Boo's Birthday" (a difficult tune that, unlike "Rhythm-A-Ning," is far from well-known). Especially revealing is his interpretation of his father's haunting "Serenity." If anything would have encouraged Drew, Jr. to emulate Drew, Sr., it would be "Serenity," but he manages to do his own thing with it. Initially released by the Japanese Jazz City label, this decent post-bop/hard bop date was reissued on CD by Evidence in 1998.

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