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Album Review

Male jazz singers seemed like a endangered species in the '80s and '90s; for every noteworthy male jazz singer who came along, there seemed to be 50 to 100 women who were taking up jazz singing. The very fact that Giacomo Gates was a jazz-singing male in the '90s made you want to at least check him out and satisfy your curiosity, and thankfully, he had solid albums like Fly Rite to back himself up. Joined by trumpeter/flügelhornist Jim Rotondi, pianist David Hazeltine, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Ben Riley, the smoky-voiced, expressive Gates brings a saxophone-like approach to bop classics like Thelonious Monk's "Ask Me Now" (for which he embraces Jon Hendricks' lyrics), Horace Silver's "Señor Blues," and Duke Pearson's "Jeannine." Quite adept at scat singing and vocalese, Gates is well-served by such influences as Mark Murphy, King Pleasure, and Eddie Jefferson but makes it clear that he's very much his own man. And Gates' lyrics to Monk's "Epistrophy" and Lee Morgan's "Speedball" let us know that he isn't a bad lyricist either. The singer was in his late forties when this CD was recorded, but he was still quite obscure. One hoped that Fly Rite would make him better known.

Biography

Born: 17 July 1933 in Savannah, GA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

An excellent drummer whose strong support has helped a variety of advanced bop sessions, Ben Riley is best known for his association with Thelonious Monk's Quartet even though he was only a member for three years. Prior to playing with Monk, Riley performed with many combos, including those led by Randy Weston, Sonny Stitt, Stan Getz, Junior Mance, Kenny Burrell, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis-Johnny Griffin (1960-1962), Ahmad Jamal, Billy Taylor, and Ray Bryant. His well-documented stint with Monk (1964-1967)...
Full bio
Fly Rite, Ben Riley
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 01 January 1998

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