When Ruth Price opened the Jazz Bakery in 1991, she envisioned something more than just another jazz club. Price wanted the Bakery experience to be special—not just for the audience, but for the performers as well. She did everything to make it into a listening room, where music was the first consideration. That concern manifested in the booking policy. Headliners have always dominated the schedule; (their revenue keeps the doors open). But Ruth has always extended to unknown but worthy performers as well.
She’s also made the room a magnet for one-of-a-kind pairings: Jim Hall & Dave Holland, Randy Weston & John Handy, Janis Siegel & Fred Hersch, Horace Tapscott & Nate Morgan, Bob Dorough & Dave Frishberg, Frank Morgan & Sonny Fortune among them.
The duo of pianists Roger Kellaway and Dick Hyman was made possible by a grant from the The James Irvine Foundation. As this recording bears out, it was money very well spent. Each player has an extraordinary amount of keyboard vocabulary under his fingers; each is a composer of note (Roger’s All in the Family opus and Dick’s theme from Purple Rose of Cairo). Kellaway—definitely the more ‘modern’ of the two–has a firm grounding in jazz history and classical music. The chameleonic Hyman is simply the greatest living treasury of the entire history of jazz and popular piano styles.
Their respective motives and ideas sit together in fascinating ways: the Bach interplay, the modal variations on “All Blues,” and the spontaneous inventions on the simplicity of “Chopsticks.” Unfettered creativity of this kind has been heard at the Jazz Bakery on many, many nights. We are lucky to have captured one such night in this brilliant Kellaway - Hyman collaboration.
–Kirk Silsbee, May, 2008
This project funded by The James Irvine Foundation. Produced by Bill Traut and Kit Thomas for Bijou Productions Recorded live at the Jazz Bakery on 11/29-12/1/1999 by Rich Breen Executive, Producer: Maury Hall, Artistic Director, Jazz Bakery: Ruth Price, Graphics: Gregory Dahl. The Jazz Bakery is a non profi t jazz theater in Los Angeles Calif. It’s mission is to present the best established and emerging jazz artists. The Jazz Bakery keeps the music alive by cultivating new talent and new audiences, especially young musicians and fans. Tax deductible donation information: jazzbakery.org