Jamie Ousley: Back Home (2010)
Living in Miami, Ousley has experienced his fair share of salsa and gained a true appreciation of Latin music. After opening the program with the light and brisk "A Tune, Sir?," Ousley's love for Latin music takes over with the very spicy "Nashvillatino," an original tune in celebration of his Tennessee hometown which showcases renowned Costa Rican percussionist Carlomagano Araya. He carries the Latin theme one more time on another tribute to his beloved Tennessee with "Pasaje Tennessee" calling upon Venezuelan concert violinist Johnny Mendoza who performs on both the violin and mandolin. Miami-based saxophone great, Ira Sullivan is featured throughout the album playing the flugelhorn, soprano saxophone and alto flute.
"My Favorite Things" is the only standard on the disc but provides the bassist with moments of solo brilliance. He displays his appreciable talents introducing the perky "This Is It!" as Strange takes most of the limelight with an extended solo performance in between Sullivan's soprano forays. There are two versions of the title track, an instrumental and a vocal piece where Ousley teams up with Palm Beach singer and friend Sharon Ann Marie Mapp, professionally known as SAMM. The instrumental rendition features the soprano saxophone voice of Ed Calle, another Miami-based musician of note.
In a farewell tribute to his uncle, Lee Ousley, who passed away of cancer in 2009, Miami baritone vocalist LeNard Rutledge sings the humble lyrics to Ousley's "So Long" accompanied by Sullivan on the soprano. "Prayer" is the other somber piece of music and the last to offer vocals with Nanami Morikawa singing briefly to the pianists' light chords and Sullivan's alto flute expressions. Delivering a solid jazzy embrace, Back Home could turn out to be the best home coming bassist Jamie Ousley may ever celebrate. With an all-star cast of musicians enhancing Ousley's music, this recording merits far more than a sample.
Track Listing: A Tune, Sir?; Nashvillatino; My Favorite Things; This Is It!; Clearing; Back Home; Nocturne in E Flat Major, Op. 9 No.2; So Long; Pasaje Tennessee; Prayer; Back Home (Instrumental).
Personnel: Jamie Ousley: double bass; Phillip Strange: piano; Larry Marshall: drums; Ira Sullivan: soprano saxophone, alto flute, flugelhorn; Ed Calle: soprano saxophone (11); Carlomagno Araya: percussion (2); Johnny Mendoza: violin (9), mandolin (9); LeNard Rutledge: vocals (8); SAMM: vocals (6); Nanami Morikawa: vocals (10).
Record Label: Self Produced