December 2000

Dave McKenna
Dave "Fingers" McKenna
Chiaroscuro Records

McKenna's left hand, celebrated for walking and striding in a prodigious series of solo albums, provides subtle comping for Gordon and Sherman in quartet and quintet settings. The more subdued role becomes McKenna. It emphasizes a thoughtful facet sometimes obscured in albums full of his powerhouse unaccompanied piano. "Fingers," which began life as an LP in 1977, is one of the best of his many Chiaroscuro solo albums. The CD reissue includes five previously unreleased tracks. Among them are a curiously fetching "San Antonio Rose" and an inspired "Willie the Weeper," the 1920s hit immortalized by Louis Armstrong with his Hot Seven in 1927.

Originally published in December 2000
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