Before & After: Kenny Werner

IMG_9125

Pianist-composer Kenny Werner’s impact can be measured on a number of levels. As a theorist, his book Effortless Master-Liberating the Master Musician Within has had a lasting influence on a generation of musicians since it was first published in 1996. As a player with great skill and imagination, Werner has led his various trios since 1981, and recorded dozens of sessions as leader or sideman.  In recent years, he’s stepped up as a composer of larger works, receiving commissions from jazz and symphony orchestras in the U.S. and Europe. Werner’s ambitious 2010 recording No Beginning, No End, led to a recent Guggenheim Fellowship, and his latest release, Institute of Higher Learning (Half Note), documents his collaboration with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra. Werner made time for this late-night listening session following his Kennedy Center performance with Toots Thielemans.

1. Erroll Garner

“Penthouse Serenade” (from Long Ago and Far Away, Columbia). Garner, piano; John Simmons, bass; Shadow Wilson, drums. Recorded in 1951.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Before & After: Taylor Eigsti

This B&A originally appeared in JazzTimes in 2008. This is the first time it has appeared in its entirety.

1. Erroll Garner
“When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again” (from Long Ago and Far Away, Columbia). Garner, piano; John Simmons, bass; Shadow Wilson, drums. Recorded in 1950)

Before: Erroll Garner? He’s got one of the most distinctive, original styles. There’s a cohesiveness between what he’s doing rhythmically with his left hand and what’s going on with the rest of the band. I’ve always loved where he places the beat; it’s got that forward motion to it. He swings his ass off! This makes me want to go through a big Erroll Garner phase. The arrangement is so tight, it sounds so effortless. I don’t know the tune but it’s something in B-flat minor. Continue reading