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"Paul Kendall sounds like a natural jazz musician - his music has the stamp of authenticity - a little of the cool of Stan Getz, the bravado of Joe Lovano, and the bluesiness of an early period Sonny Rollins."

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Unspoken Words
Paul Kendall
(Cats Paw Records - CPD-6701)
1998
Track Listing: Tenderly; Love for Sale; Autumn in New York; Solar; Triste; Db Blues; The Nearness of You; You Don't Know What Love Is
Personnel: Paul Kendall- tenor saxophone
Bobby Forrester, Ron Oswanski- organ
Rudy Petschauer, Mike Petrocini- drums

All Music Guide - allmusic.com

Tenor saxophonist Kendall has a patient way of improvising, never rushing his thoughts or pushing the envelope. He displays a little of the cool of Stan Getz, the bravado of Joe Lovano, and the bluesiness of an early period Sonny Rollins. This mix creates a very pleasant listening experience in organ trio settings, with either the veteran of Ruth Brown's bands for 25 years Bobby Forrester, or young award winning Michiganian Ron Oswanski at the B-3. Drummers are the very competent Rudy Petschauer or Mike Petrocini. Kendall triples up on the bossa nova's; "Love For Sale," the loping "Triste" and "You Don't Know What Love Is." Forrester smoulders on the first, Oswanski similarly mellow, even a bit cerebral on the latter two. Forrester bops brightly, but in a more sparse mode for the highlight "Solar, " but really gets his groove thing goin' on "Db Blues," and this seems to be his natural element. The lengthy "Autumn In New York" seems to linger forever with a zen like endless solo from Forrester, every bar is precious. Though many should focus on the organists, Kendall keeps pace well, his tenor highly melodic, changing with every tune, far from rote, dispassionate or cliched. It is in fact to his credit that his ability to effortlessly adapt to these different styles, is the glue holding these ensembli firmly together, keeping them completely focused. This CD is more enjoyable as it goes on, and also bears repeated listenings. A very good recording, with promise for even better things.
•  By Michael G. Nastos - allmusic.com

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Cadence

Unspoken Words is a romantic evening at one of your favorite candle-lit nightspots with dinner, champagne, dancing, and no interruptions. You and your partner don't need much conversation; it's not one of those nights. You'd rather listen to Paul Kendall's smooth tenor improvise over the chord changes and simply enjoy the evening. You dance to the three slow ballads, recognizing each of them right from the start. Kendall provides just enough of his own interpretation to hold your interest. As you dance slowly around the room you're thinking of the songs themselves and forgetting that these artists ware working thier magic on you. When they turn to a snappy blues or a lively bossa such as "You Don't Know What Love Is," your partner decides that you can still dance to the music. However, you both find yourselves wrapped up in what the trio's doing over standard chord changes. Your night of dancing includes four of these lively numbers. Kendall's clear tone and light-fingered technique make the evening special; the music seems to enhance your dance steps. When they play "Solar," however, you decide it's time to sit for a while and listen as they turn up the heat. A solo from the organist and fours with the drummer top off an enjoyable and quite familiar evening.
•  By Jim Santella - Cadence (1999)

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Jazz Journal International

It's been a very long time since I've been so impressed by a musician I hadn't previously heard. Paul Kendall is a 38-year old New Yorker who has worked with Charlie Persip and Kenny Drew Junior and plays flute and clarinets as well as all the saxophones. On these two CDs he concentrates on tenor only and they constitute an extraordinary debut. Kendall sounds like a natural jazz musician - his music has the stamp of authenticity - yet the CD's offer a contrast which extends to more than the instrumentation.

On Unspoken Words, with organ and generally brushes discreet in the background, slow tempos predominate and Kendall proves himself a lyrical ballad player with an exceptional command of the upper register where his tone is quite beautiful.. Db Blues, however, (which is not the Lester Young composition) shows he's able to construct emotive blues choruses in the grand tradition and recalls the Jacquet-Buckner-Jo Jones trio which used to visit London almost 30 years ago.

Rhapsody seems designed to compliment the first CD. It presents generally faster tempos, a stronger Coltrane influence and a more forceful approach, with more space allowed for contributions from the fluent rhythm section. Willow Weep for Me is the only slow piece but although Kendall again makes considerable use of the upper register he does so with more aggression than before, recalling the Texas school of Jacquet and Tate. It's this ability to draw from not just Coltrane but earlier tenormen as well which I find so appealing in Kendall's music. For their range of expression and feeling and their broad frame of reference these CDs are both strongly recommended.
•  By Graham Colombe - Jazz Journal International

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allaboutjazz.com

Paul Kendall, about whom we know and are told nothing, is an outstanding tenor player from the Stanley Turrentine/Houston Person academy of unvarnished swing, and his commanding presence enlivens this congenial mainstream trio (more accurately, trios) date recorded in '97. Kendall has a clear and pleasing tone, an abundance of persuasive ideas, and chops that are apparently equal to any task. He fronts two trios, one of which includes veterans Forrester and Petschauer, the other relative newcomers Oswanski (late of Maynard Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau) and Petrocini. Their mission is primarily one of support, an assignment they undertake with enthusiasm and carry out with unassuming elegance. Kendall is the conclusive headliner, and his unerring insight is reflected in the choice of material, which encompasses five wellÐknown standards, all of which lend themselves readily to Jazz improvisation, Miles DavisÕs "Solar," Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Triste" and Kendall's own composition, "Db Blues." Kendall gives each of them a marvelous ride, using the full range of the tenor (but without boorish shrieks or growls) to underscore his always convincing interpretations. An admirable session in the grand tradition of Jazz organ trios.
•  By Jack Bowers - allaboutjazz.com

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Jazz Improv Magazine

Here are two things rarely heard in the same sentence: "organ trio" and "ballad date." You expect screaming and carryin' on; you get a tender touch and gems from the Songbook. That's a surprise, and so is Paul Kendall. His horn looks older than he is, and that's where the sound comes from. After decades of saxophone revolution, his mellow tone seems like ancient history. This is no concern; like the slow burners of the past, he is heard with sweet shouting, a calm authority. I bet he's thinking: "If organ combos can come back, so can this sound." Here's hoping he succeeds.

The chords come slow on "Tenderly:" a block of sound with a light touch. Kendall is a perfect match: more active than lester, less forceful than Ammons - but right in that territory. The cymbals come creeping, and Paul picks it up: alittle grit, and some of that delicious swagger. Ron Oswanski is simple and subtle; a three-finger roll builds into a sharp pattern, and then the good chords. sometimes fast and sometimes edgy; always tender. And that's a good place to be.

"Love for Sale" starts with a shock; you hear the "Mojo Workin'" riff and wait for the shout. You get a kiss; Paul plays high, and faster than normal, but the tone remains. Bobby Forrester hits the effects harder than Oswanski, but remains light: his liquid tone is close to Mel Rhyne. On ballads Bobby gets a nice warble, and Paul finds a little vibrato (not much - it nearly matches the organ!) "Autumn in New York" begins lonely, but then the tone shifts, and Paul rasps low, a friendly sign as he invites you over. Bobby takes it further: as left hand swells, the right drops little notes, rippling th calm Again the mood is perfect, and you can almost hear the leaves fall. And we slip into a club: Paul brings "Solar" in hard, with Bobby adding skeletal bleeps. It's loud, stron, but also controlled: the notes are crisp, and he never runs out of ideas. That's fortunate; there's stil half an album to go!

Jobim's "Triste" is a sweet dance, with paul in the Getz mode. Oswanski compls wonderfully, a held high note and the insistent left hand. Paul is firm here, wailing high notes thatstill seem calm. And points to the drummer: Mike Petrocini starts with the simple beat, throwing in fills at odd moments. It works great, and so does that moody ending.

"Db Blues" (not the Lester tune) is your standard organ groove, with paul shouting and Forrester cool. Ammons had one of these on every record, and it's just as welcome here. Bobby trembles on his solo, busy but nice. It's the organ sound you expect, and Paul des great, as expected. Check Bobby on "The Nearness of You;" he's almost a pipe organ as the sound comes in warm washes. Paul is his most wistful, an aching tone that begs for his lover - and you know he's sincere. Back to the samba: a gorgeous "You Don't Know;" Paul isn't angry as much as sad. In the middle he turns romantic: his love has reconciled, and all is right with the world. That's how I feel when I hear this, and if you're in the mood for organ, that's how you'll feel.
•  By John Barrett, Jr.- Jazz Improv Magazine

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