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Super Trio/Kenny Barron Trio: Super Standard *

Album Notes

Super Trio is the name given by the Japanese Venus label to a trio of Manhattan based musicians, consisting of pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Jay Leonhart, and drummer Al Foster. Contractual reasons may have prevented the CD's release under Barron's name and like many Venus dates, this is not a working trio, but one assembled for the record date. As one of the busiest pianists around, Barron has a wealth of music at his fingertips and he doesn't disappoint with fresh approaches to standards and jazz compositions that make up this session. Leonhart occasionally shows a sense of humor in his solos, while Foster is a capable drummer who has worked with many stars, in addition to occasionally recording as a leader. The driving "All of Me" is a nice switch from the typical relaxed arrangement, while the Latin-flavored take of Bud Powell's "Cleopatra's Dream" swings. Barron's scoring of "Misty" proves lyrical and spacious, while he personalizes Duke Ellington's rarely performed "Sunset and the Mockingbird" with his distinctive touch. It is difficult not to think of Art Tatum when one sees "Willow Weep for Me" followed by "Yesterdays," but Tatum was not on Barron's mind for these performances. The former is a showcase for Leonhart's masterful arco playing, with the latter being a bouncy post-bop rendition of this old chestnut. ~ Ken Dryden



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