The Traveler

The Traveler

by Kenny Barron

CD

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Overview

The Traveler

These 2007 sessions by Kenny Barron are a bit unusual, as he works with several different groups, playing mostly originals. His trio with bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa and drummer Francisco Mela are present on eight of the CD's ten tracks, including one trio feature, the light-hearted "The First Year," penned by Alex Nguyen. The masterful soprano saxophonist Steve Wilson is added on three numbers, including the intricate post-bop vehicle "The Traveler," the driving "Speed Trap," and the lovely impressionistic ballad "Illusion." African guitarist Lionel Loueke is Barron's sole partner for the avant-gardish "Duet," while also adding flavor to Barron's engaging "Calypso." There are several vocal features. "Phantoms" begins with a distinctively African flavor, with Loueke adding an uncredited vocal and simulating an African thumb piano on his guitar; then Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocal Competition winner Gretchen Parlato takes over, adding her haunting vocals. Veteran drummer Grady Tate has occasionally sung during his career and he adds warmth to Barron's ballad "Um Beijo." Ann Hampton Callaway is more of a cabaret singer, though she proves effective in Barron's dreamy ballad "Clouds." The pianist has Eubie Blake's "Memories of You" all to himself, sounding as if he is playing for his own enjoyment at home in a humorous arrangement that would have likely pleased its composer.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/26/2008
Label: Sunnyside
UPC: 0016728307925
catalogNumber: 3079

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