Option - Nov.-Dec./92, p.118
"...this set is a pure pleasure...Here's a primer of modern jazz piano in 72 minutes..."
Personnel includes: Kenny Barron, Barry Harris (piano); Ray Drummond (bass); Ben Riley (drums).
Recorded live at the 7th Annual Riverside Park Arts Festival, New York, New York on September 1, 1991. Includes liner notes by Mark Gardner.
Personnel: Kenny Barron (grand piano); Barry Harris (grand piano); Ben Riley (drums).
Liner Note Author: Mark Gardner .
Recording information: 7th Annual Riverside Park Arts Festival, New York, NY (09/01/1991).
Photographer: Mitchell Seidel.
The combination of two pianists simultaneously on-stage is the recipe for greatness or a train wreck, but with two masters like Barry Harris and Kenny Barron, the former is a sure bet. Joining them for this live set in the great outdoors of New York City during the late summer Riverside Park Arts Festival are bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Ben Riley. There's plenty of give and take in their lively opener "Confirmation," while the lively interpretation of "On Green Dolphin Street" somewhat suggests the influence of Oscar Peterson. The fireworks really come with their rousing "All God's Chillun' Got Rhythm" with Barron offering a touch of stride piano in the opening, before the band shifts gears into an up-tempo bop setting. Lush treatments of "Body and Soul" and "East of the Sun (And West of the Moon)" are true objects of beauty. Their daredevil dash through "Oleo" at a blazing speed incurs no miscues. The sign-off is Harris' tribute to a fine Latin percussionist, "Nascimento," which has the audience clapping along in delight at times. This CD was unavailable for a time when the label changed hands, though it has since been reissued with a new cover with Barron getting top billing instead of Harris. ~ Ken Dryden