EVEN as a lover of the jazz standards, when a solo piano disc arrives with all the obvious, shopworn numbers -- "Round Midnight," "All the Things You Are" -- I'm not in a rush to play the damn thing. (Unless it's by, say, Thelonious Monk or Randy Weston.)
So I was knocked out by the nuance and mystery the pianist Kenny Warner summons in his new recording -- called Me, Myself and I -- of mostly long, stretched out solo excursions. They're not as freaky as Keith Jarrett, but have a similar sense of adventure, and played with a Bill Evans-style sensitivity.
Werner and I corresponded for my Influences column in the LA Times. Turns out Joni Mitchell is a bigger force for him than Bill! Here's the story. He's in town this Sunday at the Hollywood Hills salon Jazz @ the A Frame.
UPDATE: Very fine concert at cool series yesterday. Werner was incredible as expected, playing a lot of standards and making some raga-inflected magic on Abbey Lincoln's "Throw it Away."
The surprise for me was drummer Joe LaBarbera, who played with Bill Evans in the pianist's last years... Wow. Sometimes the group got close to the kind of telepathy that the early Evans trio was known for. In any case, Jazz @ the A Frame is a series every music fan should know about. Laurel Canyon isn't just about Jackson Browne and the Doors.
Next Letter in the Mail: Stassa Edwards
6 hours ago