Kenny Drew

At the Brewhouse [Video/DVD]

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Kenny Drew spent most of his career living and working in Europe. This top-drawer trio set, taped at the Brewhouse in England just over a year before his death, features the pianist with his long-running trio, including the formidable Danish bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and excellent drummer Alvin Queen. The songs heard in this set were part of the trio's regular repertoire, so their intimate knowledge of these tunes allows for greater risk-taking and outstanding results. Drew sets a furious tempo for the opener, "My Shining Hour," though his rhythm section makes it seem effortless to play. Drew's imaginative workout of Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way" is fueled by Pedersen's inventive bass and Queen's crisp percussion. They finesse the twists of Sonny Rollins' "Oleo" with ease and dive headfirst into Milt Jackson's gospel-flavored "Bluesology" as well. The dramatic take of "You Don't Know What Love Is" showcases Pedersen's unusual basslines. The closer is an extended and joyous exploration of the Miles Davis classic "All Blues." Well photographed and edited (the cameramen seem almost invisible), with excellent audio as well, this DVD is highly recommended.

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