B+ "...impeccable recital of sentimental songs..."
Down Beat - 3/915 Stars
- Excellent - "...This rough poet blends from his rich mine of pop-song arcana the ethereal with profane, sometimes the profound, often...in one breath. Here McKenna restrains his exuberant goliath left hand, and spit-shines kid-leather oldies with affection and pride..."
Personnel: Dave McKenna (piano).
Recorded at Maybeck Recital Hall, Berkeley, California.
When Joanne Brackeen first arrived at the tiny Maybeck Recital Hall for a concert in June 1989, she was so delighted with the piano and the acoustics that she insisted that Concord owner Carl Jefferson arrange to have her performance there recorded. The message hit home and over the next few years, several dozen solo piano concerts were duly recorded by the label until the hall was sold and it was no longer available for tapings. One of the first concerts to follow Brackeen's featured Dave McKenna. He seems in a particularly lyrical mood throughout this afternoon concert, though his trademark buoyant bassline is often present. While there are a number of gorgeous stand-alone songs, including the gliding "Dream Dancing," a lush, introspective "Detour Ahead," and an inventive, playful take of Duke Ellington's "C Jam Blues" (with a bassline inspired by boogie-woogie pianist Meade "Lux" Lewis' recording), there are several medleys that are connected by a common theme in their titles. Beautifully recorded and performed, this valuable CD was one of many Maybeck titles that was unfortunately deleted from Concord's active catalog. ~ Ken Dryden