His creativity - singing, scatting and even whistling - was on full display on Saturday, January 27 when he was the featured guest with the Dan Miller-Lew DelGatto quintet at the Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center in downtown Fort Myers.The band includes Miller on trumpet, Del Gatto on tenor sax, Joe Delaney on piano, Don Mopsick on bass and Tony Vigilante on drums.
|Del Gatto, Washington, Miller, Delaney
The evening's tour de force was Washington's version of soul singer Otis Redding's 1967 posthumous hit "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay." Bluesman Sam Taylor added the brief, distinctive whistling interlude on the original recording before its release. Washington expanded those few bars into something all his own. His extended, improvised whistling, stretching nearly two minutes, included a call-and-response segment in which he shifted tones back and forth to create a conversation - with himself.
While he stands at about 5'3" - or perhaps a tad less - Kenny Washington's his stature as an artist and respect from other musicians is immense. Major American record labels haven't been paying attention.That's a shame.
It may be hard to find, but Denmark's Storyville jazz label did release a Washington CD, Moanin', which he recorded live in October 2015 in Copenhagen's Montmarte jazz club with a local trio.
Washington's U.S. recordings have been as a co-leader on small labels, or in the case of the stunning most recent example, as a guest singer. He's one of 10 vocalists on pianist David K. Mathew's The Fantasy Vocal Sessions Vol. 1, Standards (Effendi Records), which is being released on February 2. Kenny's reinterpretation of "Lush Life" is stunning.
|Delaney, Washington, Del Gatto, Mopsick, Miller, Vigilante