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 Jr. Drew Trio: Remembrance

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.

Saddened by the same-week passing of Milt “Bags” Jackson, Art Farmer and pianist Manfredo Fest, Kenny Drew Jr. developed this tribute. Yes, yet another homage, but Remembrance is delivered sans mimicry or pretension, and Drew’s no nonsense delivery of the CD’s 11 mostly well-known pieces make it a shoo-in for repeat listens.

While Jackson and Farmer are well-chronicled players, the Porto Alegre-born Fest was one of the more underrated practitioners of Brazilian jazz, spending many of his most creative years playing in the Twin Cities. Drew’s orchestral capacity at the piano and boundless capacity for melody is most apparent on his “Song for Manfredo,” appropriate because of Fest’s lyrical playing, and his lovely treatment of Jobim’s “Children’s Games.”

Drew’s complementary rhythm section includes bassist Santi de Briano and drummer Tony Jefferson; guest soloists Stefon Harris and Wallace Roney are on three tracks each. The graceful harmonic landscape of Fred Hersch’s “Mirage” serves as an apt entry point for trumpeter Roney’s understated contributions. Harris and Drew’s simpatico playing is reminiscent of Jackson and Oscar Peterson’s. Harris does Bags proud, particularly on “Stairway to the Stars,” where he takes an exquisite solo.