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The Gentleman Is A Dope by Michael Kanan Trio

Michael Kanan has assembled a first class trio. Tim Pleasant on Drums is an adept and facile player who keeps the time, adds very hip accents and embellishments and most importantly listens to the soloist and formulates the proper mood enhancers to add to the message being sent.

Kanan does not dote on the styles of Tristano and Monk, electing to go his own way, and properly so. Simple lines and melodic musings are the hallmark of this fine player. His original tunes are methodically beautiful. His interpretation of the compositions of others may linger momentarily in appreciation of their legacy, but he wisely follows his own dictates and methods. He is not a slavish victim of Tristano's clique, nor of Monk's quirkiness.

Ben Street's Bass has the sonority that Bassists strive for. His solos are filled with original ideas and his time is perfect. "Tautology" is a bop inspired piece that features Kanan's clean phrases and some delightful eight bar exchanges between the leader and Pleasant's drums. The Bass solo was an added treat, both bright and inspired.

"Adorée" is an original by Mike Kanan. Again he exhibits his affection for the melody. This is an excellent tune done in an easy going tempo with everyone swinging gracefully. "The Gentleman Is A Dope"...The title tune is given new life by this ensemble. Sophistication reigns supreme in it's presentation.

"Red On Maroon" another Kanan tune that shines brightly. The Bass walked dutifully and the Drums again added the necessary punctuation marks. "Thelonious" Thankfully there are no Monkisms prevalent here. Kanan is in his own bag and the Drums and Bass add incentive to his fine soliloquy.

The message is clear in this recording..."Swing For The People" and this is done with clarity and overall excellence.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Michael Kanan Trio
  • CD Title: The Gentleman Is A Dope
  • Genre: BeBop / Hard Bop
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Fresh Sound Records
  • Rating: Five Stars
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