Album review: Nigel Kennedy, Recital (Sony Classical)


Recital finds Nigel Kennedy in eclectic mode, fronting a small string combo with a programme ranging from Bach to Brubeck – mostly jazz numbers the violinist feels he has “grown up with”, including four Fats Waller tunes deftly handled in the manner of Stéphane Grappelli – lots of languid swing to his bowing and nice muted pizzicato on “Sweet & Slow”, and the reeferman reference in “Viper's Drag” beautifully evoked through the shift of rhythms and slippery playing. Of the Bach adaptations, “Vivace” features the ghostly threads of Bach's melody drawn together in Swingle-esque manner, while the reggaefied Bach theme to “Allegro” is invested with an easy swing. Equally satisfying is Kennedy's own “New Dawn”.

Download: Sweet & Slow; New Dawn; Vivace; Viper's Drag