Label: Timeless 333
Kenny Drew - piano
Niel Henning Orsted Pedersen - bass
Alvin Queen - drums
1. Golden Earrings (7:09)
2. Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (6:10)
3. The Gentle Rain (5:23)
4. Chateau En Suede (4:14)
5. In Your Own Sweet Way (5:10)
6. Copenhagen Blues (5:28)
7. Summer Knows (4:25)
8. A Foggy Day (4:39)
9. Suddenly It's Spring (4:42)
10. Old Danish (4:42)
11. Recollections (3:53)
Recorded at Easy Sound Studio, Copenhagen on 14 and 15 May 1989.
Kenny Drew: an emotionally moving performer who plays music with a basic beat and a lot of soul. A romantic player, indeed, but never sentimental. He can swing too, he can create, sometimes he is even playing at the edge, risky with a search for adventure but always coming back in his elegant harmonies. Yes, he has Èlan, he is tender, lyrical but also witty. Kenny Drew plays with authority and he always knows what he is doing. Stylistic he belongs to that great group of piano-players that came up in the mid fourties listening to Bud Powell, listened hard, a generation that tried to sit-in at the bop center in New York's 52nd Street. So did Kenny Drew. Kenneth Sydney (Kenny) Drew was born in New York City on August 28,1928. His mother, a classical pianist, gave him his first lessons at the age of five and Kenny gave his first public concert (a classical recital) at the age of eight.
Around the age of twelve Kenny's favorites were Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson and Art Tatum. At the High School he was the star playing fast boogie-woogies. Kenny Drew studied at the High School of Music and Art in New York City. His first job was to accompany dancer Pearl Primus at his dance-school. In the late fourties Kenny Drew was already sitting-in with musicians like Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Howard McGhee and Coleman Hawkins, he almost lived at 52nd Street hoping to play with the stars. It was Al Haig who gave him the possibilities to sit-in most of the time. In January 1950 Kenny Drew made his first recording with trumpet player Howard McGhee. In 1952 and 1953 he was a member of the fine Buddy DeFranco Quartet and in 1953 he recorded his first album as a leader. Things went on. He toured with singer Dinah Washington (1956), worked some time with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1957), free-lanced with John Coltrane,
Donald Byrd, Johnny Griffin and from time to time played with his own trio. He played in the big band of Buddy Rich (1958-1959) and recorded with Freddie Hubbard, Hank Mobley and Kenny Dorham. In 1961 he arrived in Paris with the overseas touring company of 'The Connection'. He played at the Bologna Festival (1962) and by 1964 he had settled in Copenhagen, Denmark where he married Mariann, the daughter of the well-known Danish bandleader and pianist Leo Mathisen. Kenny decided to stay in Copenhagen and often he was found at the Montmanre Jazzhus where he played with the visiting Americans.
More and more he started to compose too (on this recording the well-titled 'Copenhagen Blues' is an example), one of his most impressive works being the 'Suite For Big Band'. He gave solo piano concerts in addition to his own trio and very famous duo with bass player Niels-Hening 0rsted Pedersen (listen to his 'Old Danish' on this recording). It was the duo Drew-Pedersen that became a regular feature at almost all the European festivals. They started to work together in 1966 and at the time of this recording (1989) they still are buddies. From time to time a drummer was added to the duo (Ed Thigpen, Frank Butler,
Alvin Queen and others). In the 1970's Kenny Drew toured Europe and Japan and he became loved in both these parts of the world.
Kenny Drew is a keyboard artist, a great technician in total command of his instrument, he never sticks to any narrow routine. His playing can be called funky or a mixture of blues and bebop it doesn't matter as long as he is able to reach our ears with his superb jazz-playing.
Wim van Eyle.
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