Friday, November 18, 2011

Ray Brown – Some of My Best Friends are… the Piano Players (1995)

Ray Brown – Some of My Best Friends are… the Piano Players (1995)
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Genre ~ Mainstream, Piano Trio | Label ~ TELARC

On his Telarc disc, Ray Brown teams up with five different piano players but, rather than this being a tribute to the veteran bassist (who has solo space on every selection), the CD ends up being a celebration of the great Oscar Peterson because Benny Green, Dado Moroni, and Geoff Keezer have, to various degrees, based their styles on Peterson’s, but the indivual standout is actually Ahmad Jamal, who had never previously recorded with Brown. Together with Lewis Nash they perform two blues and “Love Walked In,” all renditions that make a liberal use of space and pay close attention to dynamics. Benny Green, who plays his “Ray of Light” along with two standards, had performed regularly with Brown in recent years and his selections offer few surprises. Dodo Moroni is fine on “My Romance” and inserts a bit of Erroll Garner on “Giant Steps,” while Geoff Keezer (who had also never played with Brown) swings well on “Close Your Eyes.” The CD concludes with a reunion between Oscar Peterson (who had recently recovered from a stroke) and Brown on “St. Tropez” and the upbeat “How Come You Do Me like You Do?” The results overall are pleasing and swinging (serving as a sampler of the pianists’ styles), but not all that innovative. ~Allmusic

01. Bags’ Groove (with Ahmad Jamal) (4:20)
02. Love Walked In (with Ahmad Jamal) (4:36)
03. St. Louis Blues (with Ahmad Jamal) (7:16)
04. Lover (with Benny Green) (3:39)
05. Just a Gigolo (with Benny Green) (5:30)
06. Ray of Light (with Benny Green) (3:52)
07. Giant Steps (with Dado Moroni) (6:07)
08. My Romance (with Dado Moroni) (4:51)
09. Close Your Eyes (with Geoff Keezer) (4:41)
10. St. Tropez (with Oscar Peterson) (5:10)
11. How Come You Do Me? (with Oscar Peterson) (6:27)

Ray Brown – bass
Lewis Nash – drums

--featuring pianists--

Benny Green
Ahmad Jamal
Geoff Keezer
Dado Moroni
Oscar Peterson

Recorded in Clinton Recording Studio "A", NYC; November 21, 1994
and in Glenn Gould Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; November 18, 1994

Recording Producers: Ray Brown, Elaine Martone
Recording Engineer: Jack Renner
Executive Producer: Robert Woods
Technical Assistance: Doug Doctor, Robert Friedrich
Editor: Scott Burgess
Art Director and Cover Design: Anilda Carrasquillo
Liner notes by Donald Elfman