On paper, it would seem rather unlikely that a world-class modern jazz trombonist would double as a badass Dobro slide guitarist. But with this effort, Scot Ray lays down his horn to strum, slide, and pick alongside improvising chromatic harmonica ace Bill Barrett.
There's a lot to dig about the duo's second release, as the artists' closed-knit improvisations are engineered upon folksy themes and a predominately, wide-open layout. They mix Delta blues, folk, and Civil War era slants into off-kilter boogie grooves and jazzy progressions, spiced up with keenly executed improvisations. Yet, one of the most charming aspects of this affair pertains to the musicians' energized display of wit and savvy. Topped off with cheery, groove-based romps and razor-sharp unison runs, the twosome also pursues North African motifs, among other stylizations.
Ray and Barrett transmit elements of self-assurance amid a few eccentric deviations, such as homespun, speckled exchanges. On "Puppetology, they elongate notes amid circular phrasings and inquisitive trade-offs. By and large, Ray and Barrett manage to circumvent any notions of austere headiness as they fruitfully elevate roots-inspired thematic forays into boundless frontiers for the mind's eye.
Ballad of the Skinbag; Blue Highway $; Circus of Certain Death; Down in Greece; Florida
Room; Gleebops; Homecoming; Mountain White Cloud; Petite Noir; Puppetology; Sake
Creek; Super Moth; Swami Bob.
Scot Ray: Dobro slide guitar, slide banjo, twelve-string guitar, gobijen; Bill Barrett:
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place 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 effort that will help musicians 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 bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.