Keeping Up With Kellaway


If you grew up in the 1970s and the name Roger Kellaway sounds familiar, thank Concord Music Group's Norman Lear. Kellaway wrote and played "Remembering You," the closing theme to Lear's groundbreaking sitcom All In The Family. Or you might thank Streisand. Kellaway's score for A Star Is Born was nominated for an Academy Award. But, Kellaway landed such prestigious gigs because of his prodigious piano chops, recognized through his more low-profile work as a leader and demonstrated to full effect by The Roger Kellaway Trio (OJC), a 1965 date with drummer Dave Bailey and bassist Russell George.

This expansive collection offers music for piano fans of every school and style. Kellaway's impressionistic watercolor of The Beatles' ballad "I'll Follow The Sun" paints a portrait of classical pop. He jitterbugs and rag-times through "Sweet And Lovely"; twirls through "One Night Stand" like some glorious, virtuoso imaginary lovechild of Bill Evans and Marian McPartland; and fortifies his program with tunes from Broadway and by legendary soundtrack composer Dmitri Tiomkin.

But, this set is best known for "Brats," Kellaway's experimental four-note melody played on prepared piano in the avant-garde mode of John Cage. "I discovered that the more I played it, the more annoyed I became," Kellaway writes in these Trio notes. "Hence the title." Don't listen to this too loud or too often, because the composer tells you true -- these "Brats" really can be thoroughly annoying.

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    I'll Follow The Sun

    The Roger Kellaway Trio, from The Roger ...