The previous "last" Ray Brown recording was the well-received Ray Brown, Monty Alexander, Russell Malone
. Now that finality appears a bit premature, as the last trio date for the late great bassist was actually Walk On.
Like the former release, this is a two-disc set, the second of which is made up of previously unreleased takes from Brown's most recent Telarc releases. Walk On
was recorded during the same period as Some of My Best Friends Are...The Trumpet Players
and ...The Guitarists
, in January 2000. The disc features a quintessential Ray Brown pianist, Geoff Keezer, and drummer Karriem Riggins. Besides the recording's interest as the last Ray Brown Trio recording (at least for now), it is also Geoff Keezer’s final recording with the trio before sliding the piano chair to Larry Fuller.
The final trio date contains several new Brown originals, including the three-part Ray Brown Suite, plus a revamped "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Stella by Starlight." Brown and his pianists have always tended to favor the older and most established songs. This disc is no exception, opening the "America the Beautiful" taking a nod toward Gene Harris with "You are My Sunshine" and the aforementioned "Honeysuckle Rose." This is very much Brown’s recording. He solos widely and impeccably. Keezer plays with the dedication one would expect, and Riggins keeps time with the best.
The second disc features Brown with Benny Green, Monty Alexander, and the Superbass group of Christian McBride and John Clayton. There is not a wasted cut here, particularly among the Superbass selections. The duet "In A Mellotone" with Christian McBride presents no difficulty identifying the bassists, both of whom solo and support in a very outer space manner. Ray Brown could walk like no one else. "F.S.R." features some of the best Benny Green piano playing ever, while Monty Alexander’s "Woogie Boogie" doesn't desitate to boogie woogie. The second disc is closed with the Superbass group again, playing "Down By the Riverside" where Brown ends the convocation with a hearty "Amen."
For more information, please see Telarc Jazz .