by Martin Patmos, Modern Drummer
Henry Conerway With Pride for Dignity
The drummer gives his trio the platform to develop a group sound, interpreting their music with freshness and appeal.
Groove and pocket are something drummers discuss often. It’s something where you know it when you hear it. One drummer who’s really got it is Henry Conerway, who displays a deep pocket and masterful groove on his debut album. Within a traditional piano-trio format, Conerway, pianist Kenny Banks, and bassist Kevin Smith explore a mix of classic jazz standards and originals. With a group sound like a 21st-century update of Ramsey Lewis or the Three Sounds, pocket is paramount, with rolling, hip bass lines and tasteful piano on top. Check out the opener, “Slippery,” for a sampling of all of these qualities, or the spry brush work on “Cottontail.” Conerway’s playing throughout is supportive and snappy, swinging and adding just the right amount of kick. This approach continues into the solo drumming of “Carvin’s Agreement,” named for Conerway’s teacher, the legendary Michael Carvin. (thehc3.com) Available from Amazon.