Recorded in January 2000, Walk On was the latest release by bassist Ray Brown before his passing in July 2002. Maynard Ferguson once remarked that he was attracted to jazz because jazz musicians always seemed to enjoy what they were playing. The sense of joy is present throughout Walk On.
“America the Beautiful” begins with Brown playing that most-famous melody on bass. Suddenly, Geoffrey Keezer and Karriem Riggins join in with kinetic piano and drum improvisations, leaving the melody behind and taking the song out. The rest of the disc stays at this high level of group interaction and cohesion. Fats Waller’s “Honeysuckle Rose” gets a slow-as-molasses blues treatment by Keezer with gentle caressing of the eighty-eights. Brown’s playing is characterized by a very tasteful, melodic sense of swing that never lets up.
If one wants an example of that often-talked about, but hard-to-define jazz thing called “swing,” this record provides a complete lesson on the subject. Brown’s bass anchors the proceedings on Walk On, but generous solo space is given to Keezer and Riggins. There is not a boring track on this two disc set. And as is the case on Telarc recordings, the sound quality is crystal clear with lots of definition. Walk On is a total joy to listen to and one of the best releases of the year. Ray Brown went out on the highest of notes.
Track Listing: (Disc 1) America the Beautiful, Sunday, Stella By Starlight, Lined With
a Groove, Honeysuckle Rose, Fried Pies, You Are My Sunshine, That's All, Ray
Brown Suite: Movement I, Ray Brown Suite: Movement II, Ray Brown Suite: Movement
III, Hello Girls, (Disc 2) F.S.R., Stardust, Evidence, Woogie Boogie, In a Mellow
Tone, The Nearness of You, Much in Common, This Is Always, Three by Four, Down
by the Riverside.
Personnel: Ray Brown- bass; Geoffrey Keezer- piano; Karriem Riggins- drums
Why do I love jazz? Well, depending on what you mean by jazz, I can send an answer in any number of directions. Briefly, I was exposed to this crazy music as a little boy, my dad good friends with the local music store, where he bought sheet music to play from his baby grand
Why do I love jazz? Well, depending on what you mean by jazz, I can send an answer in any number of directions. Briefly, I was exposed to this crazy music as a little boy, my dad good friends with the local music store, where he bought sheet music to play from his baby grand. Their massive record collection, my parents taking me to concerts and clubs (only one of five kids to do so), the Magnavox furniture stereo/radio ... it all added up. It was complex, emotional music. And it had rhythm! I drummed and followed the music through the '60s even as I enjoyed the new musics of my generation.
Along with side-trips to other musicians and music, it's been one hell of a pony ride ever since.