I had the distinct pleasure of listening to the Harry Pickens Trio on Saturday, January 26, 2008, at the Jazz Factory, perhaps Louisville's premier venue for live jazz. The show exceeded the expectations set in the Jazz Factory's program notes for Saturday's performance:
The jazz giant Harry Pickens celebrates his birthday at The Jazz Factory with his great jazz trio. Bring your friends, your family and your acquaintances for an evening of music that is guaranteed to warm the heart and fortify the soul. Harry lives, breathes and exudes the essence of jazz. He's performed internationally with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Milt Jackson, Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson, as well as top players from his own generation, including Kenny Garrett, Ralph Peterson and Wallace Roney. In addition to being a gifted musician, Harry is an eloquent spokesperson for the music and a charismatic performer.
There is no substitute for a live musical performance, and even a recording from Saturday's show could do scarce justice to the power and the presence of the Harry Pickens Trio. But courtesy of bassist Chris Fitzgerald, who is also a member of the University of Louisville's music school faculty, I'm pleased to post two performances by the Harry Pickens Trio: