Although hidden away in classrooms at the Berklee School of Music or as the accompanying pianist with vocalist Tony Bennett, Tim Ray is a pianist of the highest order and this album offers all the evidence needed to prove the case.
The album kicks off with a simple, bluesy "Nothing For Nothing" by Billy Preston, which barely hints at the depths that the trio explores further into the album. The real adventure kicks in with the West Side Story staple, "Maria." While this tune has often been treated as some kind of torch song, Ray approaches it with thoughtfulness and gives it dignity. There is more than a touch of Keith Jarrett in his chords and quiet melodic escapades. This is followed, oddly, by yet another balladRay's own "Gone, Not Forgotten." Patitucci and Carrington are present yet unobtrusive, weaving in and around Ray's melodic statements. The bassist's beautiful tone and lyrical sense are outstanding in this touching melody.
Although Carrington plays an important role on every track, coloring and shading the background, she is featured on both "Paint it Black" and "Yo 11" and her solos are as far from bombastic as you can get, utilizing the various shades and colors that she can draw out of her drum kit. Her expositions are quiet melodies snuggled within the greater context of the songs.
"Paint it Black" itself is a fascinating exploration into a popular Mick Jagger and Keith Richards tune. Who would have thought anyone could have found so much fertile ground in a popular rock tune? But Ray and company make it their own. It is performed toward the middle of the session and then repeated in shorter form at the end (presumably to attract radio play).
This is a well produced, compelling example of how much can be done with a piano trio. Ray and company have obviously devoted a lot of time and thought into this production as opposed to putting together just a bunch of solos and eight bar exchanges on common jazz and popular standards.
Nothing From Nothing; Maria; Gone, Not Forgotten; Paint It Black; Trinkle Tinkle; Unconditional Love; Messiaen's
Gumbo; Yours Is My Heart Alone; Samsara; Yo 11; Paint It Black.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.