Kenny Drew Jr. Trio

Kenny Drew  Jr. TrioRemembrance
Kenny Drew Jr. Trio
(TCB – 2001)
by Dick Bogle

This is an awesome recording from this trio, starring pianist Kenny Drew, drummer Tony Jefferson and bassist Santi Debriano — and special guests, vibist Stephon Harris and trumpeter Wallace Roney. Gordon Jenkins’ “Goodbye” is the trio’s tour de force. After Drew’s opening statement, Debriano plays some very heavy notes with Drew floating his somewhat lighter notes on top.

Jefferson sticks to brushes, enhancing the piano-bass combination. It’s not long before Drew begins to build momentum with powerful chords before retreating in favor of a sensational lyrical Debriano solo. Milt Jackson’s “Bag’s Groove” is the opener, with a relaxed, happy air about it. Harris swings more freely on this than on most of his own recordings.

Drew is an admitted fan of Bill Evans. Recall his earlier release, “This One’s For Bill.” So Evans is remembered here with an exquisite Drew solo effort on “We Will Meet Again.” His classical training is clearly evident. Roney is featured on three cuts, “Mirage,” “With Prestige,” and “Blame It On My Youth.” He is fine on all three.

Reprinted with kind permission of The Skanner.