Event Review: Kenny Rankin @ Scullers Jazz Club
Boston, Mass, June 22, 2006
Artist: Kenny Rankin
Title: Kenny Rankin @ Scullers Jazz Club
Venue: Scullers Jazz Club
Date: June 22, 2006
Strolling on stage with no introduction, no guitar strap, and no pretense, mellow guitar god Kenny Rankin offered the packed first full day of summer crowd a great way to ease into the season with the help of his soaring and dipping vocals, rhythmic picks and strums, and touching, humorous banter.
Sneaking up in a new direction on “Mr Tambourine Man,” Rankin took to the keys for the as yet unrecorded (but boy should it be!) head voice ballad “Can We Be Friends?” Returning to his 45-year-old six-stringed girlfriend “Honey,” Rankin rearranged another favorite, this time putting a positive tip on Monk’s late night lament “’Round Midnight.”
The gentle trickle of “Here’s That Rainy Day” worked through an arpeggiated instrumental solo to a fluttering take on “Blackbird.” Alan Bergman’s “Where Do You Start” was filled with beautiful questions and the tribute to the late Jack Segal by way of “When Sunny Gets Blue” was both.
Amidst tales of family and friends, Rankin also tipped his guitar to club booker Fred Taylor, inspirer Joao Gilberto, and fellow Woodstock-er Jimi Hendrix, whose “I Wanna Talk To You” was a surprisingly upbeat blues ditty.
After announcing the 30-years-in-the-making release of Silver Morning on CD, Rankin ended the show by going all the way back to the song that started it all - the instrumentally-inspired “BIrembau.”
When the last ounce of reverberation had left Rankin’s guitar, the crowd leapt to its feet, knowing they had just spent an evening with a true musical friend.
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