Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck|
No rating supplied
Kenny Drew (piano) recorded in the 1950s with such legends as Charlie
Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Milt Jackson, Buddy DeFranco's
quartet, Dinah Washington and Buddy Rich. The Blue Note album "Undercurrent"
(1960) partnered Drew with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, tenor saxophonist
Hank Mobley, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes on six of his
original arrangements. Drew's decision to move overseas damaged his
potential for notoriety received by many of his peers. This is a Blue
Note masterpiece, and some of Drew's best work as a solo artist. Although
he was an adept sideman, his leadership blossomed on outings such as this.
The eight-minute and twenty-five second "Funk-Cosity" seemed far ahead
of its time, not only for its hip name but for also the musical developments
during the arrangement. "Groovin' The Blues" is a slower tempered
number showing how blues and jazz could easily integrate and also
become flexible enough for improvisation. With the varied playing
on those particular tunes, Drew proved beyond the shadow of a doubt
that he earned his rightful place alongside the legends that he once
served as only support. He was an integral part of their musical legacy,
and then he began to create his own by solidifying his role as a bandleader.
The group members give Drew stellar support, as they all were seasoned
veterans of jazz at the time. Although Drew was the director and paved
the way for the others, their abilities are personified in the music,
which is the reason why they shined and stood out so well. In a sense
they were a direct reflection of their astute leader.
Classic Records' stunning representation of this Blue Note classic
really brings out the music's exceptional authority. The quintessential
essence of the jazz palette is drawn out, allowing every nuance to
paint the corners of each song. Every aspect of the music flowers
within the D.A.D. process. I am sure this album was a joy to hear
when it was first released in 1960. Now we have so much more to hear
and enjoy with the wonderful technological advances of the 24/96 Master
Tape Sound process. Not only is this jazz perfected, its sound taken to the next level.
1. Undercurrent (Drew) - 7:16
2. Funk-Cosity (Drew) - 8:25
3. Lion's Den (Drew) - 4:53
4. The Pot's On (Drew) - 6:05
5. Groovin' the Blues (Drew) - 6:19
6. Ballade (Drew) - 5:29