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Live at Bradley's Live

4.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Jazz is a music best heard in a live context, and this date recorded at the famous Bradley's in New York City, which closed in the mid-'90s, offers an excellent example of how the music should sound. The room was a favorite of piano players and Kenny Barron was no exception. Backed by longtime partners drummer Ben Riley and bassist Ray Drummond, Barron's no-mistakes lyricism and fleet-fingered piano lines zip through a pleasing set of standards and post-bop jazz compositions. Miles Davis's "Solar" gets an invigorating workout, as does the striding "Everybody Loves My Baby, but My Baby Don't Love Nobody but Me." Barron's genius as a balladeer comes through on his pillow-soft treatment of "Blue Moon," and his rendition of "Canadian Sunset" recalls Ahmad Jamal. The standout track is Barron's tasty Latin take on James Williams's "Alter Ego." A good gig, at a good club, by some very good musicians. --Eugene Holley Jr.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 9, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Sunny Side
  • ASIN: B000068QUL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,127 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Giuseppe C. HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
One of a handful of truly great living jazz pianists, Kenny Barron has never sounded better to me on record. After listening to him in this setting, I'm beginning to understand why so many musicians lamented the passing of Bradley's, the Manhattan night spot that featured a grand piano handpicked and donated by Paul Desmond. If there's one performance on this recording that testifies to Barron's gifts, it's his exquisite and daring reading of Rodgers and Hart's "Blue Moon." He repeats and draws out the melody to the point where it practically becomes reductive if not boring. Then when he has you indoctrinated in the skeletal structure of the tune, waiting for it to end, he re-opens it with bursts and fountains of melodic colors--elongated, spinning note-streams that rise and fall and rise again, transporting this listener, at least, on a heady film of captivating lyrical moon dust.

But the real genius of this performance (unless memory deceives me) is Barron's incorporation not merely of the Rodgers' influence but of Freddie Hubbard's recording of the tune with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (in turn inspired by Clifford Brown's rich if straightforward interpretation of the tune on the Strings album). Instead of the single-note melodic phrase (Bb) for the words "Blue Moon," Barron goes with the Hubbard three-note phrase (CGBb), turning it into a motif. And not only do Barron's alternate chord changes match those of the Messengers' chart but he captures the identical voicings and passing tones as well. Finally, the dazzling, rocket-like melodic excursions of the trumpet solo are matched here by Kenny's fluid right-handed melodic sallies but at an entirely different dynamic level.
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I am Bradley Cunningham's neice and I use to love spending time in Bradley's. The way the musical format in the club was established, piano and base and sometimes drums, was simply because that's what Bradley liked to listen to. His table, #1, was directly across from the musicians, the best seats in the house.

I met Kenny Barron, Ray Drummond and Ben Riley there and loved listening to them, the trio were among my favorite players.

One note of correction from another review is that Paul Desmond didn't pick out the piano for Bradley's but when he died he left his own personal piano to Bradley because up to then, Bradley only had an electric keyboard in the club which Desmond couldn't stand. When Desmond's piano was moved in, the keyboard went up to Bradley's apartment above Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village. Bradley played in private quite well but never felt he was good enough to play in the club with the other greats. Out of repsect to the musicians, Bradley had Desmond's piano tuned EVERY DAY and once a year had it completely renovated.

I am so pleased to find Kenny Barron's music recorded at the club as his mastery of the piano is so brilliant. Hanging out at Bradley's was indeed, a blast.
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Like great jazz playing?.....you have to buy this recording, one of two recordings by the great jazz pianist Kenny Barron. Bradleys was a well-known jazz spot in NYC, (no longer there) - the playing of Kenny and his group is just absolutely perfect, you are right in the middle of some of the finest jazz combo music ever recorded (on some traks you can hear the tinkle of glasses or waiters working the tables) which makes for a really "live" recording. But it's the genius of Barron and his smooth legato playing into the deep improvizational theory of chording that is so great (not as deep as Bill Evans, but that's what makes it understandable to we mortals). You will love this album and the companion recording from the night before recorded back in the 90's.
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Kenny Barron continues to grow from strength to strength as is clearly demonstrated by this "live " date with his working trio. From the opening notes I found myself enthralled by the wit and imagination of this master musician. "Live At Bradley''s" is on heavy rotation no matter where I find myself.
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This trio has a lot of experience behind them and they demonstrate their prowess on this recording. There is nothing better than a well recorded live recording. Nothing demonstrates the chemistry of a group than a live recording.
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This is an INCREDIBLE set of live trio jazz! The music and sound are FIRST RATE from beginning to end, and Kenny Barron's dynamic, melodious phrasing and time place him at the "head of the class" among living jazz pianists and musicians. A MUST buy and listening experience! HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION.
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