Monday, October 20, 2008

Dave McKenna (1930-2008)

Dave McKenna was a brilliant, generous, and self-effacing pianist. I am fortunate to have heard him play at the Plaza Bar at the Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston, in 1984 or '85. (That was where you went if you wanted to hear Dave McKenna.) I joined the handful of people close to the piano and asked McKenna if he'd play "About a Quarter to Nine," a tune from his 1982 LP The Dave McKenna Trio Plays the Music of Harry Warren (Concord). He obliged, and added "Would You Like to Take a Walk?" and "You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me," which followed on the LP. How generous was that?

Dave McKenna, Pianist Known for Solo Jazz Work, Dies at 78 (New York Times)
Dave McKenna (A family-run site)
Dave McKenna on YouTube

If you've never heard Dave McKenna, try YouTube's "Nagasaki."

comments: 2

thalkowski said...

That version of 'nagasaki' was great. --
Here's another version by good old Bertie Wooster - midway thru note Jeeves's non-verbal assessment of the tune ;^)

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, Timothy -- it's nice to hear the verse.