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Roger Kellaway: Live at The Jazz Standard

- CD Reviews

Roger Kellaway: Live at the Jazz Standard
(Roger Kellaway Website)

Roger Kellaway on Piano
Russell Malone on Guitar
Stefon Harris on Vibes
Jay Leonhart on Bass
Borislav Strulev on Cello


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 10, 2009

(See a Review of This Live Series.)

This CD is triple-value, with two CD’s of the performances of the above artists at The Jazz Standard, May 25-28, 2006. The four-night series was produced by Pat Philips and Ettore Stratta. This IPO collection also includes a 2008 Jazz Sampler with varied selections from groups and solos, such as the Roger Kellaway Trio, music of Thad Jones, Roland Hanna solo piano, Kenny Barron, James Moody, and Benny Golson. Ballads, original Kellaway compositions, and even a Disney theme (Someday My Prince Will Come), combine in the two-CD (13 tracks) collection to bring the listener right into The Jazz Standard for this unique ensemble. I was fortunate to attend two of the four nights’ performances, and I vividly remember the exceptional quality of the blended tones and seasoned solos. Kellaway, Malone, Harris, Leonhart, and Strulev are all pros and renowned in the international jazz community. This is a must-own CD collection, for riveting, elegant musicality.

Notable tracks:

Disk One:
#4 – All My Life – Composed by Kellaway. This elegant interpretation opens with Borislav Strulev on cello and Roger Kellaway on ethereal piano. Kellaway’s composition is rapturous and melancholy. Russell Malone’s guitar adds special effects, while the cello carries the soulful song. A rippling piano waterfall becomes the finale.

#6 – Take Five – Composed by Desmond. This track, evocative of the Brubeck era, is refreshed and restyled, with Kellaway’s interpretation full of zest. Jay Leonhart adds bluesy bass, before Malone runs with the theme toward a fanciful flourish. Kellaway revisits the original theme but ends in fused improvisation.

#7 – The Nearness of You – Composed by Carmichael and Washington. Stefon Harris opens this track on romantic vibes, with Kellaway adding a playful keyboard backdrop. The piano-vibes duo carries this song through its inspirational melody.

Disk Two:
#3 – Cherry – Composed by Redman and Gilbert. Kellaway opens this favorite ballad with swinging rhythms. Leonhart adds texture to the mix, while Malone comes in on scintillating guitar, with moody, meandering shifts in key and tempo. Leonhart soon picks up the theme with earthy expertise. Kudos to Roger Kellaway and his fine ensemble. Kudos to Stratta and Philips.

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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at