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Kenny Werner: Beat Degeneration

It is surprising that there is no applause present after any tune but the last on Kenny Werner’s Beat Degeneration (Sunnyside). The CD’s seven Werner compositions were selected from nine sets of performances at the Sunside Club in Paris in November 2000, and almost everything on Beat Degeneration is fresh, original, unpredictable and excellent. The levels of creativity from the musicians and interaction between them are very high. It is difficult to determine where composition ends and improvisation begins throughout most of the recording, which should intrigue anyone seeking music with the attributes previously stated.

Bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and drummer Ari Hoenig are extremely well suited for Werner’s musical sensibility and shift in and out of straight rhythmic support very well in a manner that greatly enhances the music. Hoenig has a fast, light touch, and he’s consistently and successfully creative. I began looking for other recordings that include Hoenig after one listen to this one.

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