Kenny MacKenzie Trio,
Live at Kavehaz
(self-produced, 2002)

Kenny MacKenzie on piano, Mike Savino on acoustic bass and Josiah Wolf on drums, recorded live in New York City. Six tracks: "Yesterdays," "Always Leaving," "Now I'm Glad," "Israel," "Moved" and "Forest Flower." A cool, pastel, impressionist painting as cover-art. Applause at the end of each track is a subdued and polite fluttering of palms. The playing -- excellent, smooth, but tightly woven, consummately professional, eminently ear-friendly.

If you like unobtrusive "lounge jazz," this is for you. If, however, you like a bit of exuberance, flair and a more "go-with-the-flow" looseness of style, you will be disappointed and consider Live at Kavehaz lacking in life, and you will give it the cold shoulder.

I did like it, but it is so elegantly understated that it takes concentration to retain it at the forefront of one's consciousness rather than letting it slide into background wallpaper -- sublimely classy, genteely coordinated, but the transformation is hard to resist. Maybe that is the reason for the gentle, blurry print on the cover; it is attractive to certain critics, as is the style of this trio; it perhaps is a deliberate filtering device -- I enjoyed the music, but it is nigh impossible to summon blazing enthusiasm. This is perfect accompaniment to a quiet evening with murmered conversation permitting the jazz to filter through.

- Rambles
written by Jenny Ivor
published 26 April 2003

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