Dave McKenna

Cookin' at Michael's Pub

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When Marian McPartland heard Dave McKenna at Michael's Pub in early 1973, she quickly arranged to record him in the studio for her Halcyon label. McKenna has long shined as a soloist, varying his approach with a unique blend of stride, boogie-woogie, and swing, along with an ever-present potent bassline. His infectious setting of "I Won't Dance" has the humor of Erroll Garner though he suddenly segues into stride midway. The pianist's one original is the rollicking "Cookin' at Michael's Pub," a catchy blues. Clarinetist/flautist Dick Johnson and bassist Bucky Calabrese are added on a few tracks, including a perky interpretation of "Dansero" (a tune infrequently played by jazz artists) and a warm, unusually subdued treatment of "Fine and Dandy." Licensed for reissue on CD by Prevue, it quickly disappeared from print once more when the fledgling label folded not long after getting underway.

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