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Date this web site was last edited:  12/06/2015

 

 

 

 

Review

Kenny Poole at Scottie MacBean's - 12/27/05

(Biography)

Every Tuesday night for the last 5 years we have hosted an OFGC jam (of sorts) at Scottie MacBean's Coffee House in little downtown Worthington, Ohio.  We informally hang up our club banner down at one end of the establishment and set up 2 or 3 amps for various members that might happen by to sit down and play a couple.  Most Tuesdays it's just a bunch of us hacker amateur thumb pickers like JD Norman, Frank Lefebre, Tom Mathys and myself (fairly decent music, actually).  But, this particular Tuesday night it was something special - VERY SPECIAL...  Kenny Poole was coming to play with and for us. 
On one hand it's very very sad that one of the finest finger style jazz guitar players in the world has terminal throat and stomach cancer, but the glad news is that Kenny Poole has enough strength to take advantage of what little time he might have left and is doing the things he really wants to do.  And, coming up from Cincinnati and jamming with us at one of our Tuesday Night Jams was one of those things he wanted to do.  MUCH TO OUR PLEASURE.  

Additionally to our pleasure, was the fact that Tom Carroll and Tim Cummiskey, two of Ohio's

finest jazz guitarists, came to "play" tribute to Kenny.  The three of them formed an impromptu trio with Kenny playing bass.  Nowhere in New York City could you have found any better quality jazz that was played this evening right here in this little coffee house in north part of Columbus.  Kenny seemed to draw the very best out of two of his most ardent fans and superb jazz artists in their own right.  Tom is a professor of jazz guitar at Denison University and Tim teaches jazz guitar at The Ohio State University.
The coffee house was packed.  The word that Kenny Poole was going to be here slipped out somehow (lol) and there was standing room only.  
Even way in the back (the front of the store, actually) there were people standing to catch any glimpse and sound from one of the greatest masters of jazz guitar on the planet.  And, unlike most coffee houses - these folks listened with the utmost attentiveness and respect.  They simply loved Kenny......
Although Kenny has lost a lot of weight during his early fight with cancer, he seems to be in great spirits, has plenty of energy - and, is playing the best he has played in his whole life.  He says that every since he's found out his demise that he seems to have a new approach to his music.  And, he proved it this night with a solo set that mesmerized even the top players in attendance.

A big part of my personal enjoyment was seeing the various levels of understanding Kenny's music in the room.  There were non-musicians that had 

never heard him before and were simply amazed at the music they were witnessing.  And, at the other end of the spectrum the brilliant Tim Cummiskey was absolutely blown away with how wonderfully Kenny played the very difficult jazz piece, Nica's Dream.  "NOBODY tackles that tune solo, Palmer,"  Tim explained,  "Let alone eat it up the way Kenny did.  This may be sac religious, but he's as good as Joe Pass was - if not better."  
Folks, the highest enjoyment of jazz is all about understanding the depth of the music - which most of us can't really do.  But, through the ears of the truly gifted we can better appreciate the talents of a master artesian that has spent his entire life honing his musical excellence as opposed to seeking monetary splendor - and, we were the beneficiaries of that life this wonderful evening. 
Regular Tuesday Night attendees, Tom and Helen Mathys, are big fans of Chet Atkins style guitar playing, but this evening they were equally enthralled by Mr. Poole's jazz.
JD Norman doesn't sit in that comfy big chair very often because he's one heck of a thumb picker..... however, this evening (like everybody else in the room) was gleefully relegated to the audience.  He and his friend Gabby had the best seats in the house.
Can you see the very gray hair on the guy in the lower left hand corner of this picture on the right???  Well, yep, that's me gittin' about as close as I could get to kenny...  I'd a got in his lap if he would have let me.  And, I apologize (again) for all the whoops and hollers I let out when he was playing all those massive 7 fret stretch chords.  I never got to see Chet or Joe Pass up this close - but, I can't imagine either being any finer than what I (we all) saw this evening.  Like Chet and Joe - this man is a true world class treasure - that we will surely miss when he's gone. 

(Kenny Poole Bio)

Palmer Moore - OFGC Organizer

The pictures above are courtesy of JD Norman and his new digital camera he bought himself for Christmas.. (Oh, I guess he did git up out of that big chair once or twice... (lol)  Thanks, JD......