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Breezin' Along

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Album Review

By the time of this 1996 CD, Kenny Davern already had a full career of accomplishments, and for years, he had had his own sound and a technique that allowed him to hit very high notes with ease. For this set, he is joined by two masterful guitarists (Howard Alden and Bucky Pizzarelli) in a pianoless rhythm section that also includes bassist Greg Cohen and drummer Tony DeNicola. The strong repertoire (mostly Dixieland and swing standards, plus the leader's minor-tinged song "My Mama Socks Me"), the quiet but heated backup group and Davern's own enthusiasm results in this being one of his finest showcases. Highlights include "Jazz Me Blues," "My Honey's Lovin' Arms" and "Breeezin' Along with the Breeze." Highly recommended to fans of the pre-bop clarinet.


Born: January 7, 1935 in Huntington, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Described in The New York Times as "the finest clarinetist playing today" in the 1990s, that high praise wasn't far off the mark, as it applied to Kenny Davern in the autumn of his life, at the peak of his powers. Call him a jazz purist, even a snob, but Davern believed in playing standards, and that he did. Tunes by George Gershwin, Eubie Blake, Fats Waller, Irving Berlin; what are sometimes referred to as Great American Songbook tunes. He was often praised for the clarity and pureness of his tone,...
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