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Some of My Best Friends Are...The Piano Players

Ray Brown Trio

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Album Review

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.

Some of My Best Friends Are...The Piano Players, Ray Brown Trio
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