The Question Is


Music: Kenny Barron, Lyrics: Janice Jarrett

Like “Ambrosia,” Lullabye,” and Morning Glory,” this is another really flowing jazz waltz of Kenny’s.  Fortunately for me, his titles combined with the feel of the composition inspire an image or some vignette, even some visual scene. But others seem to speak to a person’s inner thoughts, or some understanding they have come to.  I go from the titles combined with the melody, harmony, tempo, etc., of course. These together create a place to start.  Although it’s not explicit, these lyrics suggest a person arriving at a certain point in a relationship.  I liked when the words came “Hardly a word. No Need to play the game, name.” This clip is from Kenny’s CD “Spirit Song” with a lovely horn arrangement.

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Kenny BarronA recent description of Kenny Barron: “One of the most articulate and polished mainstream-to-bop improvisers in the jazz of the last 40 years.” (The Guardian). For years the NYT labeled him the “pianist of choice,” certainly true for Stan Getz in their last legendary performances. Their duets are heartbreakingly lyrical and informed by the clarity found in the best of the genre. But Barron’s many sessions as leader attest to his being a prolific composer as well. Being an NEA Jazz Master, among other accolades, is a reflection of the high esteem he holds. I was drawn to his compositions decades ago while in NYC, The desire to sing his melodies, surrounded by the complex coherence of his harmonic sensibility, however challenging, was compelling. More than two dozen of our collaborative lyrics and songs will soon become available in the Shop.


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