Magazine article IAJRC Journal

The Hot Three/Kenny Davern and the Rhythm Men/The Kenny Davern Quartet: In Concert at the Outpost

Magazine article IAJRC Journal

The Hot Three/Kenny Davern and the Rhythm Men/The Kenny Davern Quartet: In Concert at the Outpost

Article excerpt

The Hot Three

Kenny Davern Trio

Jazzology CD JCD-167*

Kenny Davern (ldr, cl) Art Hodes (p) Don DeMicheal (d). Annapolis MD, July 1, 1979

Fidgety Feet/Chimes Blues/Shim-Me Sha-Wabble/Liberty Inn Drag/Some Of These Days/Ballin' The Jack/See see Rider/It Don't Mean A Thing/Tennessee Waltz/My Blue Heaven. TT 43:44

Kenny Davern And The Rhythm Men

Arbors Jazz CD ARCD 19147

Kenny Davern (ldr, cl) John Bunch (p) Bucky Pizzarelli (g) Bob Haggart (b) Tony DeNicola (d). New York NY, June 15, 1995

That Rhythm Man/Out Of Nowhere/Three Little Words/Say It Isn't So/Cherry/How Come You Do Me Like You Do?/You're Lucky To Me/Lullaby Of The Leaves. TT 59:32

The Kenny Davern Quartet: In Concert At The Outpost

Performance Space, Albuquerque, 2004

Arbors Jazz CD ARCD 19315

Kenny Davern (ldr, cl) James Chirillo (g) Greg Cohen (b) Tony DeNicola (d). Albuquerque, New Mexico, December 12 & 13, 2004.

Ole Miss/Careless Love/Somebody Stole My Gal/Summertime/Spreadin' Knowledge Around/C.C. Rider/These Foolish Things/Royal Garden Blues. TT 63:38

We recently lost John Kenneth 'Kenny' Davern (1935-2006), jazz clarinetist and soprano saxophonist, who was wrongly labeled a traditionalist because of the material he choose to interpret. And his session mates included Steve Lacy and Paul Motion. As fellow clarinetist Ken Peplowski commerited: "There was nothing traditional about him - he was more knowledgeable about the mechanics of the clarinet than most repairman, and utilized everything in and out of the book - false fingerings, harmonics, and astounding upper range, bends, lip-slurs, you name it - an astounding, and incredibly moving musician." And the more that you listen to Davern, the more you realize that he was the true successor to Pee Wee Russell who also played clarinet across the jazz spectrum.

So, we'll look at some of his work as a small tribute to his outstanding contributions to jazz. Will Friedwald, jazz critic and author, commented: "In a career that stretched more than 50 years, Davern was widely hailed for the beauty of his tone, for his facility on his instruments, and for his ability to compose solos spontaneously that were light and airy but at the same time solidly swinging and well grounded in the blues. He was a master at playing in all registers, with a particularly distinctive tone in the lower, chalumeau range, and at all tempos." (The New York Sun, Jan 26. 2007)

Davern cut his big band teeth with Ralph Flanagan and then joined Jack Teagarden's Dixieland group, making his recording debut with Teagarden in 1954. Four years later, he made his first album under his own name for Elektra and then he was off and running, making at least 37 albums as leader for the Columbia, Fat Cat Jazz, Jazzology, Concord, Chiaroscuro, Kharma, Kenneth, Statiras, Calligraph, Challenger, MusicMasters, and Arbors Jazz labels . He also appeared as a sideman on the recordings of many other jazz greats who were more than appreciative of his talents.

The three albums being reviewed all feature his clever clarinet playing, but he also excelled on the soprano saxophone, an instrument last popular in the 1940's. He gained some national recognition when he formed the Soprano Summit in the 1970's, featuring fellow soprano saxophonist Bob Wilbur and pianist Dick Wellstood, touring the world and recording. …

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