Wynton Kelly: The Session Musicians

Wynton Kelly: The Session Musicians

Exploring the session work of pianist Wynton Kelly is like playing hard-bop Where's Waldo? He brings spry phrasing, flush with tart accents, to the Miles Davis modal classic “Freddie Freeloader,” sparse introspection flecked with muscular chordal jabs to John Coltrane's indelible ballad “Naima,” and lively steeplechase patterns to a driving take of “Mack the Knife” from Wayne Shorter's first album as a leader. That's him accompanying Billie Holiday's wounded cry on “Lady Sings the Blues” and offering counterpoint to Milt Jackson and Wes Montgomery on “S.K.J.” Kelly adapted his playing to endless contexts, helping elevate many into classics.

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