Monday, December 14, 2009
Ray BROWN Trio- The Red Hot Ray Brown Trio 1987
The Red Hot Ray Brown Trio (Concord, 1987) employed Mickey Roker and Gene Harris
and was recorded at the Blue Note in New York City, November to December 1985.
Leader Ray Brown I always referred to as the "all univers bassist" because of his huge and comfortable sound and his ability to interact and enhance the performance of his companion players. His supportive talents are evident throughout the whole album, but never more than "That's All" which also contains some beautiful time shifts. Listen to the room expression of appreciation during and after this one! Ray also has some terrific intros on "Lady Be Good" and his original, "Captain Bill", where he cleverly inserts a few notes of "Chloe". An example of his fine arco bass playing is on the title song from the 1956 Elvis Presley movie "Love Me Tender".
Gene Harris, whose career revival was largely attributable to Ray, was an Oscar Peterson influenced pianist who(my opinion) was a superlative practitioner of the blues, frquently displaying a funky overtone. He was also very under rated in his abilty to play an excuciatingly beautiful ballad. A perfect example of this occurs with Victor Young's "Street of Dreams" which starts out as a ballad and transitions briefly into hard blues before segueing back into the ballad. Note also on this selection the fine accompanying bass work by Ray Brown. The influence of Erroll Garner on Gene really comes through on Tyree Glenn's composition, "How Could You Do A Thing Like This To Me".
The trio is rounded out by Mickey Roker, a veteran drummer who has played over the years with a host of name players, his work with Ray and Milt Jackson being most familiar to me. His work can best be appreciated on "Meditation" and his brush work especially on both "Street of Dreams" and "That's All".
"Captain Bill", a tribute to Count Basie", is the closer to this happy set complete to the ending Basie signature by Gene Harris.
This is a Album you will be glad to have added to your collection!
By Robert J. Ament.
Bassist Ray Brown's 1985 trio (featuring pianist Gene Harris and drummer Mickey Roker) is heard in fine form throughout this swinging set. In addition to five standards and Brown's own blues Captain Bill, there are a couple of unlikely but successful selections Tyree Glenn's How Could You Do a Thing Like This to Me and Love Me Tender. Although there is actually only one blues among the eight numbers, Gene Harris infuses all of the selections with the feeling of the blues and consistently steals the show.
By Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
Ray Brown- Bass
Gene Harris- Piano
Mickey Roker- Drums
A1. Have You Met Miss Jones?
B1. Street of Dreams
B2. Lady Be Good
C1. That's All
C2. Love Me Tender
D1. How Could You Do a Thing Like This to Me?
D2. Captain Bill