Kenny Barron


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By the early 1990s, Kenny Barron had firmly established his reputation as a jazz pianist, following a long series of LPs and CDs under his own name and a considerable number of dates as an outstanding sideman, particularly with Stan Getz between 1987 and 1991. This trio date, with the superb rhythm section of bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Victor Lewis, is one of Barron's most essential releases from the entire decade. Following an aggressive take of Gigi Gryce's "Minority," Barron's choice of Sting's "Fragile" seems unusual until he proves to the jazz listener that there is a strong melody within it that's worth exploring. His solo rendition of "I'm Confessin' That I Love You" has the playfulness of Thelonious Monk, while his rendition of Monk's "Jackie-ing" is adventurous compared to the composer's versions. Barron's compositions are also a highlight of this CD. "Silent Rain," a bittersweet ballad, is a solo feature for the leader, while "Tear Drop" is a trio arrangement of another fine ballad. "The Moment" is a bossa nova that features Victor Lewis' tasty percussion. Highly recommended.

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