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Time and time again, the Manhattan Bop Police have claimed that a jazz album isn't legitimate unless it is recorded in the 212 area code. But if that's true, why did so many jazz heavyweights — from Dexter Gordon to Bud Powell — spend so much time living and recording in Europe? Why have so many important jazz indies (Steeplechase, Storyville, Owl, Black Lion, Timeless, among countless others) had European addresses? The fact is that if you're a serious jazz connoisseur, your CD collection is probably full of recordings that were made in Europe. Ray Brown certainly spent plenty of time performing overseas; Ludwigsburg, Germany, in fact, is where Brown recorded Summerwind, a 1980 session that finds the acoustic bassist forming a quartet with tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin (one of the reasons jazz musicians are proud to be from Chicago), pianist Monty Alexander, and British drummer Martin Drew. This hard-swinging combination of American, Jamaican, and British improvisers enjoys a strong rapport on a diverse program that ranges from Ray Charles' "Hard Times" to pianist John Lewis' "Delaunay's Dilemma" to the title track (a song that is closely identified with Frank Sinatra). The inclusion of a song associated with Ol' Blue Eyes should come as no surprise to admirers of Alexander, who has never made a secret of his passion for Sinatra's legacy. Nor has Alexander made a secret of his love of R&B; one of the highlights of this CD is a piano trio performance of the Crusaders' "Street Life" (which Griffin is absent from). Although the Crusaders are primarily an instrumental jazz group, they enjoyed a major R&B hit in 1979 when they featured singer Randy Crawford on "Street Life"; on Summerwind, however, the tune works nicely as an acoustic bop/soul-jazz instrumental. This rewarding CD is well worth searching for.

Biographie

Né(e) : 13 octobre 1926 à Pittsburgh, PA

Genre : Jazz

Années d’activité : '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The huge and comfortable sound of Ray Brown's bass was a welcome feature on bop-oriented sessions for over a half-century. He played locally in his native Pittsburgh in his early days. Arriving in New York in 1945, on his first day in town Brown met and played with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Bud Powell. He was hired by Gillespie for his small groups and his big band; "One Bass Hit" and "Two Bass Hit" were early features, and he can be seen with Dizzy Gillespie in the 1947 film Jiving in...
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Summerwind, Ray Brown
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