Adam Birnbaum: Kate The Great


Kate The Great


Adam Birnbaum (piano)


Travels! (Smalls)

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Adam Birnbaum (piano),

Joe Sanders (bass), Rodney Green (drums)


Composed by Adam Birnbaum


Recorded: New York, June 8, 2008


Rating: 83/100 (learn more)

A standard-issue jazz waltz taken at a "Someday My Prince Will Come" pace and feel, "Kate The Great" presents Adam Birnbaum in a wistfully romantic mood. The young pianist doesn't bowl one over with his originality, yet he's a technically gifted player who plays very musically. His style is pretty generic—post- Bill Evans modern jazz piano, a step-and-a-half to the right of Brad Mehldau. He seems to revel in his composition's unabashed romanticism, although this reviewer finds both the tune and the pianist's overtly sentimental interpretation a bit cloying. His rhythm section plays it totally straight. Both bassist Joe Sanders and Rodney Green are authentic, highly competent musicians with a solid grounding in bebop. Indeed, that may be the best description of the performance as a whole: highly competent with a solid grounding in bebop. Not that there's anything wrong with that…

Reviewer: Chris Kelsey

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