Having both cut his teeth and come into his own with Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, and Yusef Lateef, among others, pianist Kenny Barron began to carve out what has proven to be a lengthy and fruitful solo career by 1973. This fine duo outing, which has Ron Carter and Michael Moore trading off on bass, certainly shows Barron was in full control of his vigorous and tuneful style by the mid-'80s. Cut for the independent Black Hawk label before Barron would eventually find more exposure via such high-profile companies as Enja and Verve, 1 + 1 + 1 features a tasty program of numbers by Monk, Ellington, Coltrane, Dave Brubeck, and others. Of particular note are Barron and Carter's treatments of the Gershwin opener, "The Man I Love," and Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way." Carter also contributes the lone original here, "United Blues," which features Moore handling the bass duties. Topped off with a fine solo exploration of "Round Midnight" (Barron has to be one of the best modern interpreters of Monk's work), 1 + 1 + 1 is certainly a must for fans of contemporary hard bop.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook