Magic Dance - The Music Of Kenny Barron
Label: Whaling City Sound
Abate, Greg; Barron, Kenny; Blake, Johnathan; Douglas, Dezron
There’s a beautiful marriage happening with Greg Abate’s “Magic Dance." It’s the union between Abate’s multi-instrumental gift of bebop and Kenny Barron’s varied and sublime compositions. Abate, with Barron, who handles keys on this recording session, are soulmates sharing this epic musical space. On their own, Barron’s melodies are transcendent. In Abate’s skillful hands, thanks to his ability to shift between alto, tenor, baritone and soprano saxes and flute, the material takes on new tones, colors and patterns. One of the liberties Abate took with the material involved varying the choice and number of horns on these tracks. On two tracks, he even went so far as to arrange and overdub four additional sax parts, modeled on the reed section of the traditional big band, which give Barron's lush sounds even greater texture and intricacy. Underneath it all is the hot-shot rhythm section of bass player Dezron Douglas and drummer Johnathan Blake, a New York City tandem born to support and elevate these arrangements. In fact, the ensemble work throughout this two-disc project is incredible, and reaffirms the health of 'real' bebop, a genre in which Abate has, through a five-decade career, been a dependable flame keeper. With this collaboration, Abate, with sidemen Barron, Douglas and Blake prove that the glory of straight-ahead jazz can still be purposeful, exhilarating, and, above all, like all great marriages, faithful and true.