Friday, November 18, 2011

Ray Brown – Some of My Best Friends are… guitarists (2002)

Ray Brown – Some of My Best Friends are… guitarists (2002)
EAC rip | FLAC + CUE + LOG | Full Scans | FileSonic/FileServe
Genre ~ Mainstream, Bop, Guitar | Label ~ TELARC

The fifth in Ray Brown’s series of recordings pairing his working trio with several different musicians from the same family of instruments (although one volume was exclusively singers) features a half-dozen guitarists, ranging from fellow Oscar Peterson alumni Herb Ellis (who worked with Brown in the pianist’s most famous trio) and Ulf Wakenius to veteran Kenny Burrell, as well as seasoned players like John Pizzarelli and Bruce Forman and the rising star Russell Malone. Each song sounds as if the group could be a working quartet, due to the great interaction between the trio and each guest. Pizzarelli shines in a bluesy, strutting take of Duke Ellington’s “Just Squeeze Me” (erroneously labeled as Fats Waller’s “Squeeze Me”) which has a nice series of exchanges between the guitarist and the leader. Ellis brings back memories of the Oscar Peterson Trio with a heated performance of “I Want to Be Happy” during which pianist Geoff Keezer is up to the task of carrying on where Ellis left off. Wakenius is the guest on a particularly moody take of “My Funny Valentine.” Burrell, Forman, and Malone also fare nicely on each of their pair of tracks, so it’s very easy to recommend this very enjoyable disc. ~Allmusic

01. Squeeze Me (with John Pizzarelli) (7:28)
02. I Want to Be Happy (with Herb Ellis) (3:37)
03. Heartstrings (with Russell Malone) (5:31)
04. Blues for Ray (with Ulf Wakenius) (3:13)
05. Fly Me to the Moon (with Kenny Burrell) (5:12)
06. The Song is You (with Bruce Forman) (5:01)
07. Little Darlin’ (with Russell Malone) (7:48)
08. Blues for Junior (with Herb Ellis) (6:01)
09. Tangerine (with John Pizzarelli) (4:28)
10. My Funny Valentine (with Ulf Wakenius) (6:05)
11. Blues for Wes (with Bruce Forman) (4:42)
12. Soulfull Spirit (with Kenny Burrell) (6:57)

Ray Brown – bass
Geoff Keezer – piano
Karriem Riggins – drums

--with guitarists--

Kenny Burrell, Herb Ellis, Bruce Forman
Russell Malone, John Pizzarelli and Ulf Wakenius

Tracks 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, and 10 recorded at Avatar Studios, Studio A, N.Y.C.; January 10-14, 2000
Others recorded at O’Henry Studios, Studio A, Burbank, CA; February 21-22, 2000
Recording Producer: Elaine Martone
Recording Engineer: Michael Bishop
Second Engineers: Rory Romano & Patrick Shannon
Executive Producer: Robert Woods
Editor: Todd Brown
Photography: Michael Halsband
Designer: Peter Blandori
Art Director: Anilda Carrasquillo
Produced by Ray Brown and Elaine Martone