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Key Play

Artist: Ed Saindon

Date of Release: 05/11/2005

Catalogue no: WIM 1000

Label: World Improvised Music

Price: £12

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

listen

Sao Paulo

5.04

2

listen

Black Orpheus

9.57

3

listen

18th's Child

4.44

4

 

My Romance

6.17

5

 

Song For Matt

6.25

6

 

Jitterbug Waltz

6.09

7

 

Two As One

5.50

8

 

A Flower is a Lovesome Thing

11.58

9

 

Spur of the Moment

3.19

10

 

Invitation

10.14

11

 

My Funny Valentine

4.16

 

 

 

 

Key Play features 5 of my originals and 6 standards. Kenny was playing at Cape Cod for a festival and drove up to the studio in Methuen, Ma which is about a ½ hour north of Boston. We said hello, exchanged pleasantries and started recording. The whole session took less than 3 hours and all of the tracks are 1st takes. Usually the first takes have the most sparkle and freshness. It was nice to see Kenny’s “effortless mastery” in action.

The duo format really allows for very intimate conversation. It is one of my favorite formats for playing. With just two people, it’s so easy to “stop on a dime” and switch gears. There’s more of a chance for spontaneity, the dynamics can have a wider range and there’s more freedom with varying textures.

The vibes have a nice blend with the piano and having a pianistic approach to the vibes it was easy to play with Kenny (especially considering Kenny was right there behind me at every turn). I’m pleased with how the recording came out and how Kenny played on my compositions after looking at them for about 5 minutes. It should be noted that he didn’t play it safe on them either; he stretched out and took some chances. After all, that is a facet of his philosophy in his book, “Effortless Mastery”.



 

Reviews

 

08/05/0006 JazzReview

The pairing of piano and vibes in a duet format always has the potential to create beautiful music. Both instruments easily handle lead and rhythm roles while concurrently complimenting the counterpart. Where the challenge lies in this paring is how well the two musicians are able to read and react to each other. This is where synergy becomes the crucial element. On Key Play, whether soloing or filling, Ed Saindon and Kenny Werner complement each other so well that at times it becomes difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. Lines flow into lines, back and forth. Where one leaves off the other picks up, creating a seamless flow of music that floats along, carrying the listener with it.

…All the standards selected are medium tempo pieces that are treated to nice, lush arrangements that adhere closely to the original melody. Both players quickly set up the head, solos are traded, followed by interesting interplay where dual solos interweave tightly to create a dense back and forth framework. A highlight of the standards is the beautifully played Jitterbug Waltz. The chiming, ringing sound of the vibes sound as if they were made just for this tune, bringing out the gorgeous sound of the melody.

A pleasant interlude from the standards, Saindon’s writing has a contemporary feel that just slightly hints at romanticism. Of note, 18th’s child feels like a light-hearted minuet with a timeless quality that keeps the song playing long after it finishes. Spur of the Moment is played at a rapid pace with both piano and vibes exchanging long lines that quickly chase each other, running circles that move rapidly to a delicate, lingering close.



 

02/05/0006 F. Michael Combs

This recording features two outstanding artists in a collaboration that produces true “easy listening”. Ed Saindon’s approach to the vibraphone is very pianistic, so he is very much at home working with pianist Kenny Werner, who takes the approach that is reflected in his book Effortless Mastery. Everything played is relaxed and effortless. The entire 75-minute CD was recorded in a three-hour session without rehearsal, and the playing shows the highest levels of listening and reacting between two musicians…While most of the tunes are in a relaxed and easy style, Waller’s “Jitterbug Waltz” and Saindon’s “Spur of the Moment” are up-tempo tunes with impressive technical display. In addition to being an excellent sources of quality listening, there is a great deal to be learned from this CD in terms of a fresh approach to vibraphone performance with piano.
–F. Michael Combs
Percussive Arts Society's Percussive Notes

 

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