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Ray Kennedy: The Ray Kennedy Trio Plays the Music of Arthur Schwartz

Ray Kennedy is probably best known for his long association with John Pizzarelli. He and the other players here-brother Tom Kennedy on bass, Miles Vandiver on drums and guest Joe Cohn on guitar-have internalized the elegant, civilized melodic world of Arthur Schwartz. On most of these 15 tunes, Ray Kennedy delineates the theme gracefully and definitively in single treble note lines while Tom Kennedy and Vandiver make everything glide. Cohn interweaves counterpoint or makes concise, fully rounded statements of his own. It is orderly music, everything in its assigned place including disciplined improvisation. It is all eminently pleasant.

Except that Arthur Schwartz’s son Jonathan makes a provocative statement in the liner notes. He says, “The music my father composed was unusual for its frequent melancholy with occasional bursts of ebullience. The darker elements are often discarded by pianists of lesser perception than Ray Kennedy, but they are here on this album.”

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