Dave McKenna: Detour Ahead
Dave McKenna (piano)
Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 2 (Concord Jazz CCD-4410)
Dave McKenna (piano).
Composed by Lou Carter, Herb Ellis & John Freigo.
Recorded: Maybeck Recital Hall, Berkeley, CA, November 1989
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
Dave McKenna scuffled for decades as a sideman, equally adept with moldy figs and modernists but never making a name beyond his peers. Finally, in his 40s, he found a wider audience. This track shows how lucky we are that he stuck it out. Forty years after Billie Holiday put her indelible stamp on "Detour Ahead," McKenna finds his own, slower way inside, giving us a wistful, plaintive yet uplifting interpretation. "Why am I the only one," the lyric wonders, "travelin' this way?" Some of us, heedless of warning signs, must find our own route. Dave McKenna lights our path.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz