The Jazz.com Blog
September 10, 2009 · 0 comments
Facing each other on nine-foot grands, these two pianists played through the harmonic and stylistic interstices of several standards and one blues with relaxed virtuosity. Although Kenny Barron is a more mature player, Mulgrew Miller more than rose to the occasion, notably playing complex lines as opposed to Kenny Barron’s chordal motion and rich harmonization. After a low-key, swinging “Just in Time,” Strayhorn’s “Isfahan” was a vehicle for Miller’s bright, advanced lines and Barron’s solid backing, which has the feel of an entire rhythm section. In “Recorda Me” Barron kept steady rolling rhythms under Mulgrew Miller’s polyrhythmic solos, and developed Latin accents around Miller’s syncopations.
Each pianist did a solo selection, Mulgrew Miller building a whimsical stride version of Gershwin’s “Liza,” his solid left hand supporting supple, rigorous right hand runs. Barron’s solo piece built harmonies around post-modern lines with advanced turnaround runs. He seemed to develop progressions within progressions as he improvised on the tune. During “Blue Monk,” they traded a series of increasingly more complex lines, before going back to the head and ending the tune to a standing ovation.
This blog entry posted by Roanna Forman. For links to the rest of Forman’s coverage of the festival, click here.