The Perfect Set - Live at Bradley\'s II

SSC3031 2005-09-27

Track List

House Introduction - 0:34
You Don\'t Know What love Is - 15:12
The Only One - 12:50
Twilight Song - 11:01
Shuffle Boil - 6:23
Well You Needn\'t - 14:05


Kenny Barron - piano
Ray Drummond - Bass
Ben Riley - Drums

You can hear Bradley's life force on Kenny Barron's The Perfect Set—which was the second one, at midnight, on April 6, 1986. The trio, with Ray Drummond on bass and Ben Riley on drums, had been together for over seven years; The Perfect Set presents Barron in the purest state of musical creation. A live recording doesn’t rely on producer tricks, multiple takes, or an engineer’s aural alchemy. It rests on the telepathic interplay of the musicians, as evidenced by the riveting rapport between Barron and his cohorts.

On the first track, “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” Barron’s opening piano statement flows with the kind of graceful grandeur he’s displayed for the past four decades, then Riley and Drummond turn the tune from a ballad to a stately, midtempo number with a bouncy walking bassline. Next up is a Barron original entitled “The Only One,” a spirited uptempo offering based on Thelonious Monk’s “Hackensack.” Another Barron composition, the haunting “Twilight Song,” (also recorded with bassist Charlie Haden on the CD Night and the City) is rendered here with a bouncy bossa nova beat. The Monk vibe returns again on “Shuffle Boil,” a solo tour-de-force where Barron takes the Harlem stride style rent party rhythms that Monk learned from the legendary James P. Johnson, and updates them for the 21st Century. The set concludes with a supersonic rendition of Monk’s classic, “Well, You Needn’t.”


"Bradley's was a real listening room, and a great place to hang out, especially for the last set when musi¬cians came in from their gigs at other clubs."
Kenny Barron

'The demise of Bradley's in the mid '90s signaled the end of an era in the history of jazz in New York City. The room was much more than just another jazz club. It was a social center where the music community came together [creating] an atmosphere of camaraderie."
Russ Musto

A few monrhs ago in the British weekly The Economist, reader Quint Barker wrote in so say, "True artists are discovered in clubs and bars, not manufactured in a studio."
JazzTimes. Nat Hentoff