It wasn't exactly a night to remember. Indeed, there were so few people at Mr. Y's Saturday night to hear the Keith Linsey Trio's opening set that if anyone is likely to recall the evening it is Linsey himself.
Too bad. Linsey's a 19-year-old Howard University student and a promising jazz pianist. He brought his trio to the club to help celebrate the graduation of Howard's music majors who quite clearly were celebrating elsewhere. But he poor turnout, and the fact that Linsey was working with Ronald Compton and not his regular drummer, didn't detract from his performance.
Linsey's playing is full of briskly shifting tempos and bright, colorful accents, ranging from economical Basie-like fills to sweeping open-ended runs, sometimes culminating in jarring exclamations when he slams his forearm across the keyboard.
Though "Ipanema" and "Days of Wine and Roses" occasionally required sharper focus, and his exchanges with Compton were understandably tentative at times, Linsey consistently improved on each piece from one course to the next. His "A Train," with a beautiful quote from "Satin Doll" by bassist David Marsh, was just one of several tunes deserving of a larger audience.