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The Traveler

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iTunes Review

Pianist Kenny Barron’s recording career dates back to the early 1960s. He’s collaborated with countless artists and played a variety of styles, and 2008’s The Traveler finds this top-notch musician appearing in a number of settings. The core unit on the album is comprised of Barron, the Cuban drummer Francisco Mela, and the Japanese bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa. Steve Wilson plays soprano sax on three cuts, including “Speed Trap,” an uptempo, hard swinging piece driven by Kitagawa’s fierce walking. The much-in-demand Benin-born guitarist Lionel Loueké adds his versatile acoustic playing to “Duet,” “Phantoms,” and “Calypso.” (“Duet,” with its herky jerky rhythms, modernist dissonances, and angular lines, is particularly striking.) Barron has worked with many singers and here he accompanies three distinctive vocalists. “Um Beijo” features Grady Tate, whose excellent performance evokes Johnny Hartman and Joe Lee Wilson; Ann Hampton Callaway’s lovely tones grace “Clouds;” and Gretchen Parlato’s sensuous approach works well on “Phantoms.” Barron composed everything on The Traveler except a solo piano version of Eubie Blake’s “Memories of You,” but he puts his personal stamp on this classic as well.

Customer Reviews


Great album to sit back and relax and just enjoy the moment!! A MUST HAVE!!!!!

A Wonderful Album

Kenny Barron's new work is a wonderful listening piece. He is in his most purest form, with soft, yet inversive melodies complimented with flowing harmonies. A good LP that is pleasing to the ear, yet finds itself staying true to jazz. With this new album, Kenny Barron still remains as one of the premier jazz pianists.

great music for during this rainstorm!

grady tate's voice sounds like your favorite leather suitcase-- tough, a little worn but so dependable and makes the outfit i love all the songs except for duet...a little too loose for my taste


Born: June 9, 1943 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A thorough examination of Kenny Barron's musical accomplishments over a span of 50 years necessitates a discography of more than 200 pages. That's because in addition to a distinguished career as soloist and leader he has served as one of the most dependable sidemen in all of post-bop mainstream modern jazz. More than 40 albums have appeared under his name, and his presence on literally hundreds of recordings by other musicians paints a panoramic picture of Barron's lifelong devotion to the music....
Full Bio
The Traveler, Kenny Barron
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Customer Ratings

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