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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

An Evening At The Embers - Alex Kallao Trio

My Funny Valentine
Jungle Rhumba
An Evening At The Embers
Alex Kallao Trio
RCA Victor LJM-1011
1954

Alex Kallo, piano - Milt Hinton, bass and Don Lamond, drums

The jacket, featuring a wicked Jim Flora cover art, is an unusual (for period RCA) gatefold. The record inserts from the inside fold.

Enjoy a few samples from this super tight, sparkling jazz set.

From the inside cover: Small, unassuming and blind, he is led to the stage by his father and then, all at once, the mood and tempo change. This was my first impression of Alex Kallao when I heard him at The Embers nightclub in Manhattan.

He started out in Feburary of 1954 as an unknown. He created such a stir, that Time Magazine featured him in an article titled, Bach to Jazz. Like many top jazz pianists, he is at his best when accompanied by bass and drums. Only 21 years old, he has broken into the golden circle of top jazz pianists without ever having made a record. His is presented here on RCA Victor records for the very first time.

Blind since birth, he began to learn the classics when he was only three. His father, himself a professional pianist, would sit down beside him at the keyboard playing a Beethoven sonata with one hand while little Alex's fingers followed an octave away. When questioned about how he learned to improvise, he said, "because of my blindness, I always improvised and made up little pieces."


From the back cover: He (Kallao) is accompanied on these records by two men in the jazz profession. Don Lamond on drums made his mark with the great, roaring Woody Herman "Herds." On bass is one of the greatest talents in the world, virtually an unsung hero. His conception has always been modern and his ability to swing is a major assets. He is, of course, Milt Hinton. – Notes by Jack Lewis

Sometimes I'm Happy
The Man I Love
My Funny Valentine
Almost Like Being In Love
Speak Low
Jungle Rhumba
Cottontail
I Never Knew
Love, Your Magic Spell Is Everywhere
Gone With The Wind
I May Be Wrong
Free Fantasy

1 comment:

  1. He is undoubtably one of the best in the world!

    ReplyDelete

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