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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'The Many Open Minds of Roger Kellaway'
Artist - Roger Kellaway

For those not in the know, Roger Kellaway is an American composer, arranger, and pianist born in Waban, Massachusetts, who is also an alumnus of the New England Conservatory.

Indeed, Kellaway has composed commissioned works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, and jazz big band, as well as for film, TV, ballet and stage productions.

One of his early mentors, the late Phil Saltman, was his piano teacher and ran a summer music camp called ENCORE in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

The Grammy-award winner and Academy-award nominated Pianist/Composer, has recorded more than two hundred and fifty albums and has worked with everyone from Ellington to Elvis, Joni Mitchell to Barbra Streisand, and Quincy Jones to Yo-Yo Ma, over the years.

Oh, and as I myself find this fact to be rather excellent, Kellaway also wrote and played the closing theme, 'Remembering You' for the TV sitcom All in the Family, which ran from 1971 to 1979, and its spinoff Archie Bunker's Place (1979-1983).

Well, the legendary pianist Roger Kellaway turns 80 this year and his background as an artist and popular performer is celebrated on this brand new album The Many Open Minds of Roger Kellaway (out now via IPO Recordings LLC.) created live at the Los Angeles Jazz Bakery.

1. '52nd Street Theme'
2. 'Have You Met Miss Jones'
3. 'Doxy'
4. 'Take Five'
5. 'Take The 'A' Train
6. 'Night and Day'
7. 'Caravan'

Featuring alongside Kellaway both Bruce Forman on guitar and Dan Lutz on bass, this luscious, absolutely sonically endearing album begins with the frenetic musicianship of '52nd Street Theme' (Thelonious Monk), and backs that up with both the slow-n-easy 'Have You Met Miss Jones' (Richard Rodgers), and the mid-tempo funk of 'Doxy' (Sonny Rollins).

Paul Desmond's methodical, quietly paced 'Take Five' is a joy to behold unto itself and is followed seamlessly by the longest track on the album, the near 13-minute lesson in exuberant piano playing, 'Take The 'A' Train' (Billy Strayhorn).

The sumptuous rendition of Cole Porter's 'Night and Day' is, for me, the highlight of this recording, of which is brought to a close with the upbeat and tenacious piano work found on 'Caravan' (Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington).

Take it from me, listening to this album you get a small sadness well up inside you that you weren't there the night that that it was recorded, but that suddenly fades when you realize that you are holding, and most likely subsequently playing and replaying one of the finest albums of this genre ever made in the modern day.

Amazon Digital Purchase Link