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Roger Kellaway Trio at Jazz Standard

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Roger Kellaway Trio
Roger Kellaway, Piano
(Roger Kellaway Website)
(See November 10, 2005 Interview with Roger Kellaway)
(See Roger Kellaway CD Reviews)
Jay Leonhart, Bass
(See Jay Leonhart at AC Pianocraft)
Russell Malone, Guitar
(See Russell Malone at Jazz Standard)

Special Guests:
Stefon Harris, Vibraphone
Borislav Strulev, Cello
(See Borislav Strulev CD Review)

Jazz Standard
(Jazz Standard Website)
116 East 27th Street, NYC

Produced by Stratta/Philips Productions
Pat Philips and Ettore Stratta
(Stratta/Philips Website)

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 28, 2006

At tonight’s first set, last night of the series, produced by Ettore Stratta and Pat Philips, Roger Kellaway opened with a tribute to Oscar Peterson, adding smooth rhythm and upbeat momentum. This seasoned performer, who was once Bobby Darin’s music manager, took the theme to the highest registers. The excitement began, when Darin’s renowned Splish Splash was performed on piano in two keys, while Russell Malone, on guitar, took a contrasting melody with effervescence and swing. Kellaway invited Jay Leonhart, on bass, into this Boogie Woogie jam, and Leonhart’s solo ornamentations were outstanding. With Kellaway strongly leading and calling the changes, Malone improvised the theme with incandescence and intensity. Both Malone and Kellaway added abstraction and dissonance, before Kellaway returned to the steady Splish Splash beat.

The next work, Deep Pockets, found Kellaway in his element, and Leonhart took out his bow. This swingable, danceable theme showcased Kellaway’s run-away solo. All My Life, composed by Kellaway and played by Russian cellist Borislav Strulev, switched the genre from jazz swing to jazz classical, and the prayer-like tones were soulful and blissful. Strulev seems to find his performance zone in a variety of styles. When Stefon Harris took the stage on vibes, he immediately seized the moment. The Stratta-Philips production model is based on bringing musicians together, sometimes for the first time, and allowing for serendipitous and fresh collaborations.

With a swing-like backup by piano, bass, and guitar, Harris led this bouncy melody, switching at times with Kellaway, in seamless transitions, with sharp vibes blending into smooth keyboard resonance. The Nearness of You was slow and mesmerizing, before the 52nd Street Theme raced rapidly through the Standard, energizing Kellaway’s New York fans. Check out the Jazz Standard Website for upcoming events.

Roger Kellaway, Russell Malone, Jay Leonhardt, Stefon Harris at Jazz Standard
Photo courtesy of Pat Philips

Borislav Strulev on Cello
Photo courtesy of Pat Philips

Pat Philips, Ettore Stratta, Roger Kellaway, and the Band at Jazz Standard
Photo courtesy of Pat Philips

Stefon Harris and Russell Malone
Photo courtesy of Pat Philips

Roberta and Russell Malone
Photo courtesy of Pat Philips

Borislav Strulev and Pat Philips
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Romero Lubambo, Guest, and Stefon Harris
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

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