Producing a jazz record with great musicians is a very exciting experience. With Kenny Drew Jr. it was simply fantastic. Certain titles were recorded 2 or 3 times. All tracks were significantly different and all great performances. Very few musicians are capable of such achievements. The challenge was to choose the recording to be released. Finally, and rightly so, Kenny Drew Jr. made the choice.
During an informal interview with Kenny, he offered these thoughts:
There is a lot of humor in Monk’s and in Mingus’ music.. Another thing they have in common is a great love and respect for Duke Ellington. I never met Mingus or Monk; I was still very young at the time of their last performances… I initially played only classical music, moved later to R&B and pop music, before I came to jazz… I think it was listening to my dad’s records which opened my way to jazz; he influenced me a lot just as he had been influenced by Bud Powell…
I don’t think you shouldn’t copy other musicians… That’s a part of being a musician – you copy people whom you do admire and you take inspiration from them… and you work out your personal style by blending all their different influences… Monk also definitively influenced me… My real favorite is “Trinkle Tinkle” but also the other titles by Monk and Mingus on this CD belong to those I particularly love.
Aleardo G. Buzzi
CD set: 1