Personnel includes: Kenny Drew, Jr. (piano); Laura Seaton, Mary Rowell, Uri Vodovoz, Lenny Rivlin, Paul Peabody, Hanne-Berit Hahnemann, Nancy McAlhaney, Mark Feldman (violin); Ron Lawrence (viola); Richard Locker, Thomas Ulrich, Christine Gommere (cello); Peter Washington (bass); Lewis Nash (drums).
Recorded at Power Station Studios, New York, New York between February 25 through 27, 1995. Includes liner notes by Kenny Drew, Jr. and Howard Mandel.
Personnel: Kenny Drew, Jr. (piano); Lenard Rivlin, Mary L. Rowell, Mark Feldman , Paul Peabody, Laura Seaton, Yuri Vodovoz (violin); Ron Lawrence (viola); Tomas Ulrich, Richard Locker (cello); Lewis Nash (drums).
Passionata was a very special project for pianist Kenny Drew, Jr., as it served as a personal tribute to his late father, Kenny Drew. The CD focuses on the senior pianist's compositions, along with a few of his favorites and new works by his son. The title track was an unfinished manuscript found by Drew on his late father's piano. The younger Drew completed the piece, expanding upon Drew Sr.'s initial chord changes to create a stunning mix of hard bop, Latin rhythm, and classical overtones. Drew Jr.'s second version adds a moving string arrangement by Bob Belden. The strings are also present on the bittersweet ballad "Dark Beauty." Joining him for most of the remaining tracks are bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash, who have a seemingly effortless ability to play exactly what a leader wants. "Hush-A-Bye" is a Danish folk song that was a favorite of Kenny Drew's; this hard-charging interpretation showcases a fine solo by Nash. The leader composed "Dedication" in tribute to his father, and it is a warm, very lyrical ballad deserving of wider recognition. The arrangements of several standards are equally enjoyable. The buoyant yet understated waltz-time scoring of "When You Wish Upon a Star," the deliciously upbeat "Summertime," and the richly textured solo performance of "It Might As Well Be Spring" all deserve high praise. Although Kenny Drew, Jr. has recorded extensively for a number of labels, this Arkadia CD is one of the few made for a label based in the United States, so it should be readily available. Highly recommended. ~ Ken Dryden