Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

Kenny Barron: Things Unseen

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Kenny Barron’s seasoned crew of drummer Victor Lewis, saxophonist John Stubblefield, trumpeter Eddie Henderson and bassist David Williams, is augmented for this date by John Scofield’s distinctive guitar, percussionist Mino Cinelu-with whom Barron crafted one of ’96’s most rewarding recordings-and newcomer Naoko Terai on violin. Barron, who has achieved something akin to MVP status among piano players primarily for his broad capacity to enhance whoever’s session or record date he lays hands on, should also be recognized for his ability to artfully craft recordings under his imprimatur. The elegant Things Unseen continues that craft.

There is a certain airiness, a certain judicious use of space that pervades this date, as Barron and company certainly know how to avoid sonic traffic jams and engage a sense of openness that enhances this disc. Case in point is the blue “Christopher’s Dance,” which is essentially a workout for Scofield, Cinelu and Barron, though the entrance of Terai, a young Japanese woman, lays a soulful stamp on the piece. “Rose Noire” is a Barron/Terai duet that is completely improvised and could serve as an object lesson to many who endeavor to walk the edge-for lessons dial up tastemaster Kenny Barron.