Dave McKenna made a remarkably piano solo debut in 1955 with the fifteen tunes he recorded for ABC Paramount (1-15). The remaining tracks on this compilation also come from a solo album, one he cut almost eight years later for the label Realm. Playing without a rhythm section, a key challenge for a jazz pianist, McKenna accomplished a recital of lasting value and pleasure. He plays with strength, individuality, fine beat and technique, and constant taste in all tempos. He is a wonderfully co-ordinated two-handed pianist.
A unique dual piano session from Dave McKenna and Hal Overton – and one that's nicely free of any sense of gimmick or cliche! The pair work together in a really loose, personal style – one that has the upfront push of a jazz trio date, but which also allows each musician room to express themselves differently – as you'd expect, given their slightly different approaches. Rhythm is from Earl May on bass and Jerry Segal on drums – and titles include "Monk's Mood", "Keeping Out Of Mischief", "Dizzy Atmosphere", "Ruby My Dear", and a great reading of "Hi Fly".
For one of violinist Joe Venuti's final recording sessions, he engages in a set of duets with the talented swing pianist Dave McKenna. The original LP had a dozen performances and the reissue CD adds seven more. In addition to the usual standards, there are several Dixieland tunes (including three versions of "At the Jazz Band Ball") and four Venuti originals. McKenna (with his rolling basslines) was a perfect partner for the violinist, making this set one of the best of Venuti's later years.
Terence Kemp McKenna (November 16, 1946 - April 3, 2000) was an American researcher, philosopher, speaker, spiritual teacher and writer on many subjects. His works are wide-scoped, ranging from consciousness, the human experience, psychedelic substances and their role in societies, evolution of civilizations, origin of the universe to aliens.
Just prior to signing with RCA/Novus, John Pizzarelli recorded two sets for Chesky that featured him playing in the swing style that he would soon make quite popular. Although joined by all-stars (pianist Dave McKenna, bassist Milt Hinton, drummer Connie Kay, his father, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, and flugelhornist Clark Terry) rather than his regular trio, Pizzarelli's likable vocals and relaxed guitar solos are not overshadowed. In fact, this is a delightful date, with memorable renditions of such songs as "I'm An Errand Boy for Rhythm," "Lady Be Good," "The Best Man," "Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You" and "Candy." Easily recommended to John Pizzarelli fans.