Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kenny Barron: Jazz Piano at Its Best

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kenny Barron: Jazz Piano at Its Best

Article excerpt

ACCORDING to Kenny Barron's own recollection before opening his first set Wednesday evening at Just Jazz at the Hotel Majestic, it's been over 20 years since the famed jazz pianist has performed at a music club in the St. Louis area.

Certainly, those who were fortunate enough to witness Barron's performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall last November as the opening act for alto sax player Bobby Watson remember Barron's exquisite keyboard playing that evening.

But as any dedicated music fan can vouch, the ambiance and intimacy of a small club is preferable to just about any concert setting - even that of the venerable Sheldon.

And from the first chord of the opening tune to the final note of the set, Kenny Barron and his Trio treated the large crowd at Just Jazz to over an hour of exquisitely performed music. Supported by long time musical compatriot Ben Riley on drums and the steady solid bass playing of Kioshi Kitigawa, Barron proved beyond a doubt that he is one of the finest pianists on today's jazz scene.

Once he sat down at the piano, Barron was totally focused on his music for the entire performance. At the end of each tune, he would briefly nod in appreciation for the loud applause of the audience, then, without waiting for the clapping to end or pausing for any between song patter, Barron would immediately plunge into the next composition.

That dedication and musical focus has been one of Barron's trademarks throughout a distinguished career that has lasted more than three decades. …

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