May 2006

Kenny Barron / Eddie Henderson
Presented by Art of Jazz
May 21, 2006Young Centre for the Performing ArtsToronto
When the Quality's There
by David Fujino with photo by Roger Humbert
This Eddie Henderson/Kenny Barron concert was such a thrill. That's the way I felt, sitting there in the face of such consistent quality.

The masterful relaxation, solid craft, and artistic vision of each musician was there from the first tune, with Henderson's quicksilver lines and Barron's articulate flows on the piano speaking louder than these words.

When playing solid tunes from the modern jazz repertoire, like the classic Cootie Willams/Thelonious Monk composition, "Round Midnight", Henderson's flugelhorn, with its smears, half-valve chokes, and sudden feathery sounds, visibly penetrated the audience.

Kenny Barron & Eddie Henderson

And with Kenny Barron (a repeat visitor to Toronto) also up on that stage, we were caught up in a steady, rolling, melodic subconscious emerging from a bop-influenced right hand.

The duo played "Kind of Blue" in a slightly fragmented way, then changed it up for solos and duo exchanges, where the piano sustained a steady 3/4 groove and Henderson's trumpet exclaimed open and clarion-like over the piano's travelling caravan of bass drones.

In between tunes, I kept thinking about hearing Art Farmer at Top O' The Senator in Toronto, sometime around 1990. That occasion was also a rare 'quality' experience.

But back to Henderson and Barron.

I love Henderson's trumpet lines; the sudden beauty of his fluttering, breathy sounds; his knowledge of harmony; his bell-clear open horn.

I love Kenny Barron's deep harmonic knowledge; his supportive dialoguing with Henderson; and his smooth flow of rich keyboard ideas.

Gentlemen, Thanks for the memories.

We welcome your comments and feedback
David Fujino
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Roger Humbert
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The Live Music Report
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