Kenny Davern Smiles
- Released: May 26, 1999
- Originally Released: 1999
- Label: Arbors Records
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Personnel: Kenny Davern (clarinet); Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden (guitar); Greg Cohen (bass); Tony DeNicola (drums).
Recorded at Clinton Studios, New York, New York, August 24, 1998. Includes liner notes by Ira Gitler.
Personnel: Kenny Davern (clarinet); Howard Alden, Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar); Doug Pomeroy (recorder); Tony DeNicola (drums).
Recording information: Clinton Recording Studios, New York, NY (08/24/1998).
Photographer: Mat Domber.
Kenny Davern remains the premier jazz clarinetist of his generation, and at 64 shows no signs of slowing down. As a staunch traditionalist, Davern has picked eight standards, primarily from the late teens-early '20s, with two exceptions, a smoldering take on the '30s classic "Summertime," and the '50s out-and-out jam vehicle "Bernie's Tune." As a clarinetist, Davern is about as perfect as they come. He can evoke deep blue after-hours phrases, as on "Summertime"; wail with effect in the upper register during "That Da Da Strain"; or play precisely hewn triplet and eighth-note figures, as on the Jimmie Noone evergreen "Apex Blues." With the addition throughout of the two exceptional guitarists Bucky Pizzarelli and Howard Alden, Davern can do no wrong, as this kind of support lends itself to the ultimate in spontaneity, the essence of great jazz. There's serious fun happening on this disc that should produce many smiles and grins from fans worldwide. The tunes are all extended, lasting from six to nine minutes, the title track finale a sweet and lengthy coda to this rock-solid effort. As a result, everyone gets to stretch out, much like a concert performance. This kind of brilliance is rare, but not surprising in the hands of a grand master like Davern. ~ Michael G. Nastos
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