wordpress themes.

KENNY BARRON & DAVE HOLLAND Trio featuring Johnathan Blake

kenny1 kenny2kenny4 kenny3








Kenny Barron-piano.

Dave Holland – bass.

Johnathan Blake – drums.

Five years after their last collaboration, pianist Kenny Barron and bassist Dave Holland reunite for the elegant and swinging 2020 trio date Without Deception. Barron and Holland’s partnership goes back decades to at least the mid-’80s and Barron’s trio album Scratch. On 2014’s The Art of Conversation, they played as a duo. Here, they are joined by drummer Johnathan Blake, who previously worked with Barron on his equally engaging 2016 trio album Book of Intuition and 2018 quintet recording Concentric Circles. All of which is to say that each of these players brings his deep creative ties and a wealth of personal musical experience to this project. Having three virtuoso musicians could lead to a struggle for dominance on any given song, but Barron, Holland, and Blake play with a generosity and spirit as they buoy each other’s performances throughout. There’s a deep textural quality to their sound with Barron’s stacked voicings tastefully underpinned by Holland’s warm bass lines and Blake’s delicately kinetic rhythms. Although they never stray too far afield of the main diatonic and chromatic tonalities of a given song, warm harmonies and inventive note choices abound. There’s an underlying Thelonious Monk influence running through much of the album, especially in the jaunty Barron-penned title track, with its rambling up and down lines and bright melody. The trio underline the connection with their snappy album-closing take on Monk’s lesser-played song “Worry Later.” They expand upon this influence in their own way throughout, with tracks like the opening Latin groover “Porto Alegri” and Mulgrew Miller’s burnished, minor-key number “Second Thoughts,” both of which showcase Barron’s richly enveloping and elegant keyboard skills. Similarly engaging are the pianist’s romantic ballad “Until Then,” the driving post-bop cut “Speed Trap,” and the trio’s dreamy, off-kilter rendition of Sumi Tonooka’s “Secret Places.”