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Smiles by Kenny Davern

This new release by clarinetist Kenny Davern is just what one would expect from one of the premier traditional jazzmen on the scene today. I first encountered Kenny when he appeared with the late Vic Dickenson at a jazz bar in Ottawa, Canada about 1980. We discussed, in particular, his days with the Eddie Condon group in the early 1970s. Kenny appears today with a small group including Howard Alden - guitar, Bucky Pizzarelli - guitar, Greg Cohen - bass and Tony DeNicola - drums. The veteran clarinetist weaves his way through eight period tunes including Palesteena, Sweet Lorraine, Bernie's Tune, Summertime, That Da Da Strain, I Must Have That Man, Smiles and the Jimmy Noone/Earl Hines 1928 hit, Apex Blues.

This is truly fine and tasteful playing by all members of the quintet. Common to most releases from Arbors Records, liner notes are ample and on this occasion are provided by Ira Gitler. Bravo Kenny!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Kenny Davern
  • CD Title: Smiles
  • Genre: Traditional / New Orleans
  • Year Released: 1999
  • Record Label: Arbors Records
  • Rating: Five Stars
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