Kenny Drew Trio

Dark and Beautiful

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Kenny Drew had previously worked with bassist Niels-Henning ├śrsted Pedersen and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath, but these 1974 recordings, made on two consecutive days, mark their first recorded work as a trio. This mid-priced two-CD compilation features the complete contents of two earlier Steeplechase albums (Dark Beauty and If You Could See Me Now). Unlike many piano-led trios, Drew features his sidemen prominently in a variety of settings. Heath's mallet work and Pedersen's warm arco bass add to the luster of the leader's moving ballad "Dark Beauty." The rapid-fire take of Miles Davis' "All Blues" adds several twists to the trumpeter's famous modal theme. Drew's rubato introduction to "It Could Happen to You" evolves into a brisk bluesy swinger. On the latter session, the trio's introspective exploration of Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way," Drew's spiritual-flavored "All Souls Here," and an adventurous take of Duke Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss" are among the highlights. Both dates were beautifully recorded by engineer Freddy Hansson, who obviously sought to make the most out of these performances by the Kenny Drew Trio.

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