- Have You Met Miss Jones
- Street of Dreams
- Lady Be Good
- That’s Al
- Love Me tender
- How Could You Do a Thing Like this to Me?
- Captain Bill
Ray Brown – Bass
Gene Harris – Piano
Micky Roker Drums
- FSR (For Sonny Rollins)
- Put Your Little Foot Right Out
- If I Loved You
- Days of Wine and Roses
- A Night in Tunisia
- Bam Bam Bam
Personnel as above but Jeff Hamilton – Drums replaces Micky Rocker
This double CD album was originally released as two different albums
called ‘The Red Hot Ray Brown Trio’ and ‘Bam Bam Bam’. Both feature
the late Gene Harris on piano, unfortunately Ray Brown has passed
on as well, but these were two musical giants. Ray was the undisputed
king of the double bass and Gene was always the most swinging piano
player in town. The world is a poorer place without them.
The first album was recorded in the Blue Note Club in New York, Gene
Harris had retired to Idaho by this time, but it was Ray Brown who
persuaded him back to the big -time. Gene never looked back and when
I saw him in Jersey in 1995, he gave a fantastic performance supported
by Martin Drew and Jim Mullen. The second session was recorded in
Tokyo in 1989. The drummers completing the trio are also world class
both Mickey Rocker and Jeff Hamilton acquit themselves well.
The musical selection on both albums is just right combining jazz
standards with newer material from Ray Brown, Victor Feldman and Larry
Spier. Throughout both albums, Gene Harris demonstrates his ability
to bring the ‘blues’ feel that is the very essence of jazz, to his
performance of any tune. Ray Brown leaves us in no doubt why he was
always regarded as the jazz world’s No1 bass player. I was particularly
taken with their performance of ‘That’s All’, a wistful, bitter sweet
tune if ever there was one.
Love Me Tender is the same number that Elvis Presley helped to write
and had a number one hit with! Not the most obvious jazz vehicle,
but in the hands of this trio, it turns into something special. Ray
states the theme on beautifully played bowed bass.
How Could You Do a Thing Like This to Me? is a fine jazz standard
and the trio delivers an excellent version of the tune written by
Tyree Glenn & Allan Roberts.
The sleeve note suggests overtones of Erroll Garner, but to me it’s
pure Gene Harris!
The first album ends with a blues called Captain Bill, an original
from Ray, so many ‘jazz greats’ never tire of the blues and I am with
them all the way, it is an art form in itself.
Disk 2, is another live session this time recorded in Tokyo. It begins
with RBS, which started out as a backing for Sonny Rollins tune Doxy,
but Ray felt it was a strong enough melody to survive on it’s own
and the trio drop into a swinging groove on this one immediately.
On ‘Put Your Little Foot’ Ray plays the intro and states the theme,
Gene then takes over against a walking bass from Ray.
Rio is a fine tune written by British born pianist Victor Feldman,
again every one solos well against a Latin beat this time. Ray plays
bowed bass again on the theme
of If I Love you, before there is another stunning solo spot from
Gene on Gershwin’s Summertime. The Henry Mancini favourite The Days
of Wine and Roses is driven along by the excellent Jeff Hamilton on
drums, it is easy to hear why he is so much in demand. He is featured
playing hand drums on the next number A Night in Tunisia. This disk
also ends with a Ray Brown blues called Bam Bam Bam; Jeff’s introduction
suggests the title!
This is an excellent double album, don’t miss it!