Kenny Barron Trio: Book of Intuition review – easy, seamless mastery


If you have been vaguely wondering what happened to wholehearted, outgoing jazz piano in the grand manner, just listen to this album’s opening track, Magic Dance. It has everything – attractive melody, unbuttoned swing, virtuosity and enough rhythmic sleight-of-hand to keep you wide awake. Among the dozen or so most admired pianists in jazz today, Kenny Barron strikes me as the one who wears his mastery most comfortably. From a languid piece such as Dreams, to Thelonious Monk’s fiendishly tricky Shuffle-Boil, there’s a gentle firmness to his playing. In some mysterious way he makes the piano sound bigger too. Bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa and drummer Johnathan Blake follow every move with seamless subtlety.


Dave Gelly

The GuardianTramp

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