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Album Review: Intuition
Dan Kennedy
Cover image of the album Intuition by Dan Kennedy
Dan Kennedy
2012 / Mt. Pollux Music
41 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Intuition is pianist/composer Dan Kennedy’s first full-length CD, following his 2007 EP, Lantern, which was produced by the legendary Will Ackerman. This time out, the album was produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Grammy-winning Corin Nelsen, who is becoming a legend in his own right! In addition to his composer credits, Dan Kennedy appears on piano and keyboards backed by David Cullen on guitar and bass, Jeff Haynes on percussion, Jill Haley on English horn, Mehuman Jonson on vocals, Premik Russell Tubbs on alto sax, and Steve Holley on drums and percussion - a lively and exceptional ensemble! The ten tracks on this album present an eclectic mix of jazz, rock and new age genres, clearly demonstrating Kennedy’s diverse composing styles. Some of the pieces are solo piano and others are for piano and ensemble. A graduate of Oberlin College and New England Conservatory, Kennedy has had his works commissioned and performed by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Essex Chamber Music Players, at the Summer Institute for Contemporary Piano Performance, and at the Aspen Music Festival (partial list).

Intuition begins with “Easy Living,” a smooth jazz piece as easy-going as the title suggests. Jill Haley’s English horn provides a very pleasing contrast to the piano, bass and percussion and gets the album off to a mellow, rhythmic start. “Could Be” is a bit more atmospheric with a gentle but engaging rhythm that propels the piano and subtle keyboard washes. “Story Within A Story” is a lovely piano solo that tells part of its story in a classical style (complete with trills!) and part of it in a more contemporary ballad style. “Redline” starts out as a smooth jazz piece that builds momentum as it evolves and features great sax playing by Premik Russell Tubbs. “Moving On” is an expressive piano solo with a flowing left hand and a simple melody on the right. I really like “Jade,” also a solo, with its gentle flow and graceful, dreamy mood. “Troubadour” brings back the sax, guitar, and percussion for another colorful favorite. Sometimes playful and sometimes poignant, it’s a great piece!

Intuition should go a long way to bringing Dan Kennedy’s music the attention it deserves. Check it out at www.dankennedy.us, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended.
October 9, 2012