Jay Graydon has been in show biz since he was two when he debuted on his father's KDAY TV show. The first track is a snippet from one of those shows where the young Graydon identifies bop as his favorite music. Since then he has performed and composed for entertainers from a wide variety of genre including singers Cher and Al Jarreau, rock groups Earth, Wind and Fire and Air Supply and a host of others. Along the way he's won a couple of Grammy awards.
On his latest release, BeBop, Graydon on guitar is joined by some talented jazz men to run through a play list of mostly Graydon originals plus, appropriate for this time and place, the "Star Spangled Banner". Graydon plays a clean guitar, nothing heavy or smeary about it recalling Joe Pass and Barney Kessel. The monster drummer Dave Weckl is present to lead the rhythmic parade, setting the beat and pace, as well as adding intelligently placed solos and drum breaks. The title of the album notwithstanding, this is not the heavy, daring bop of Charlie Parker or that played by those giants recording for the Blue Note label in the 1960's. To call it soft bop would be appropriate. There's not much especially memorable about the tunes - - except the "Star Spangled Banner" of course. They're more like head arrangements that provide a loose structure for individual and group improvisation... and it works. A major attraction is the sax of Brandon Fields who solos on virtually every cut. He is especially boppish on such tunes as "Oh Yes, There Will". Like Graydon, he has worked extensively with George Benson and was a member of Russ Freeman's contemporary jazz group, the Rippington's. Bill Cantos has issued a couple of albums under his name and Dave Carpenter has been a sideman on numerous albums. It's the strong playing that makes the album a worthy addition to the collection. Visit Jay at his webs site www.umu.se/users/KEO/graytxt.htx, where this CD can be purchased.
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