George Benson: Witchcraft

Benson's commercial success meant overproduced albums and an increased emphasis on his pleasing vocals, which diminished opportunities to display his full guitar prowess, except for certain concert, festival and club appearances. He maintained a realistic and sanguine attitude about all this: " People who love jazz musicians love us when we play what we want to play, and we're starving. But then, as soon as you commercialize your sound...the jazz fans and critics are down on you. Want to hear me play jazz? Pay me. Give me a million dollars and I'll make the greatest jazz record you ever heard, 'cause that's what I'd lose playing it." In April 1973 live at The Casa Caribe, he gave the "purists" what they wanted. On "Witchcraft" he digs in after Tucker's jubilant piano solo, burning through his solo with a fantastic blend of extended phrasings and dynamic chorded passages.

February 19, 2008 · 1 comment


Kenny Barron: Witchcraft

"I'll charm the air to give a sound," the First Witch cackles to her weird sisters, "while you perform your antic round." Cue music. During the early 1600s when Shakespeare wrote Macbeth, King James himself believed in witchcraft, and music's association with paganism, sorcery and magick was well established. In the four turbulent centuries from Macbeth to Maybeck, that much hasn't changed. Music remains as enchanting as ever, especially in the bubbling cauldron of Kenny Barron's Yamaha S-400 B. Gliding on the keyboard as nimbly as a crone riding her broomstick across a moonlit Halloween sky, Kenny casts his spell.

November 20, 2007 · 0 comments


Previous Page | Next Page