Monday, January 7, 2019

"Dave McKenna In Madison"

If you've ever witnessed ocean waves in their relentless pursuit of the shore, you might find a comparison in the piano marvel known as Dave McKenna, especially in his left hand where those never ending "waves" just keep rolling in. Thanks to Arbors Records who somehow found this well recorded live solo concert by the late piano phenom, we are privileged to hear Dave McKenna's unique magic one more time in this previously unreleased gem. A peerless melody player who knew a "zillion" tunes, McKenna loved to play medleys of long admired standards. On this disc, he gives us a few of them including one on Vernon Duke tunes like "Autumn In New York", "April In Paris", "I Can't Get Started", "What Is There To Stay", and "I Like The Likes Of You". Or how about another medley centered around tunes dealing with "time". Hence we have "Time On My Hands", "Bidin' My Time", "Some Other Time", and "Time After Time". Other highlights include non-medley entries like "Exactly Like You", "Detour Ahead", "Too Marvelous For Words", and a certified romp on the bop staple "Crazeology". Mc Kenna was an immediately recognizable treasure of the American Songbook. Hearing him once again in this delightful concert setting is something akin to a rich dessert!
Arbors Records; 2018; appx. 63 min.

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