October 21, 2008
Jump Records

Album Review

Veteran jazz pianist Dave McKenna was active for a long time, but ill health caused him to pretty much give up recording and performing around the year 2000. That makes this previously unissued 1981 solo live performance at the Hamilton City Club in Hamilton, OH of great interest to his fans. It sounds like an intimate affair recorded before an appreciative audience, having been taped for prosperity rather than eventual commercial issue. McKenna's powerful, striding left hand and inventive right hand make each selection a joy, whether it is an old chestnut that has long fallen out of favor like "At Sundown" or "Fidgety Feet," or one of his trademark medleys of songs with related titles, topped by the long track that begins with "Soon It's Gonna Rain" (from the long-running Broadway musical The Fantasticks, a piece rarely heard in a jazz setting) and ending with the venerable "Come Rain or Come Shine." Swinging piano by a master never really goes out of fashion, and Dave McKenna is a delight throughout this 70-minute program. Only the addition of composer credits and liner notes could have improved this CD.
Ken Dryden, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. At Sundown
  2. I Wonder Why
  3. Fidgety Feet
  4. Soon It's Gonna Rain/Here's That Rainy Day/Stormy Weather/Isn't This a
  5. Somebody Loves Me/Our Love Is Here to Stay/But Not for Me/They Can't Ta
  6. I've Got a Crush on You/Do Do Do/Embraceable You/Fascinatin' Rhythm
  7. Where Have You Been/Sweet Lorraine
  8. Just Friends/Can't We Be Friends/The End of a Beautiful Friendship