Dave McKenna A Handful of Stars
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- Released: July 26, 2004
- Originally Released: 1994
- Label: Concord Records
- 1.Estrela Estrela
- 2.Star Eyes
- 3.A Handful of Stars
- 4.Stairway to the Stars
- 6.Swinging on a Star
- 7.Lost in the Stars
- 8.Stars Fell on Alabama
- 9.Stella by Starlight
- 10.Star Kissed
- 13.A Song from the Stars
- 14.I've Told Ev'ry Little Star
- 15.When You Wish Upon a Star
- 16.Estrela, Estrela (Reprise)
Solo performer: Dave McKenna (piano).
Personnel: Dave McKenna (piano).
Liner Note Author: Larry Kelp.
Recording information: Maybeck Recital Hall, Berkeley, CA (07/15/1992).
This Dave McKenna solo piano session focuses on songs with a "star" theme to their titles, many of which are standards, though there are a few less familiar pieces included, too. The Brazilian pop song "Estrela, Estrela" serves as an effective if brief opening and closing theme to the CD. McKenna's lyrical side is frequently on display, especially in "A Handful of Stars," "Stardust," the richly textured "Stella by Starlight," a shimmering "Lost in the Stars," and the little known ballad "A Song from the Stars." But this session is far more than just a collection of slow, dreamy performances. He rumbles through a driving rendition of "Star Eyes" and shows off his striding left hand in the whimsical take of "When You Wish Upon a Star." McKenna even includes a rare original composition, "Star Kissed," penned just before the recording took place. This lively bop vehicle sounds like a perfect set closer for a club date. Sadly, this valuable Dave McKenna CD was deleted from Concord's catalog a few years after it was released, along with many of his recordings for the label. ~ Ken Dryden
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