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This welcome historical twofer is comprised of two very fine trio recordings, each with Ray Brown and Gene Harris and each using a different drummer.
The Red Hot Ray Brown Trio (Concord, 1987) employed Mickey Roker and was recorded at the Blue Note in New York City, November-December 1985. Bam, Bam, Bam (Concord, 1989) was recorded with Jeff Hamilton on drums at the Concord Jazz Festival, Kan-I Hoken Hall, Tokyo in December 1988.
Both recordings included blistering Harris interpretations such as his Gospel-infected gallop through the ballad “Have You Met Miss Jones?” and the Ray Brown-penned funk-fest “F.S.R (For Sonny Rollins).” But these discs still belong to Ray Brown, ever the leader. His sure time and steadiness are famous and in complete evidence here. And, to boot, this collection contains Gene Harris’ famous interpretation of the Gershwin classic, “Summertime,” perfectly capturing the conflict between desire and repentance, the church and the bar room, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. The best barrel-house piano one could hope for.
Track Listing: 1. Have You Met Miss Jones? - 4:20
2. Meditation - 6:05
3. Street of Dreams - 5:18
4. Lady Be Good - 6:23
5. That's All - 6:10
6. Love Me Tender - 6:53
7. How Could You Do a Thing Like This to Me? - 5:06
8. Captain Bill - 4:07
9. Introductory Announcement - 0:36
10. F.S.R. (For Sonny Rollins) - 5:27
11. Put Your Little Foot Right Out - 6:00
12. Rio - 7:02
13. If I Loved You - 3:49
14. Introductory Announcement - 0:22
15. Summertime - 7:15
16. Days of Wine and Roses - 6:53
17. Introductory Announcement - 0:19
18. A Night in Tunisia - 6:24
19. Bam Bam Bam - 4:20
Personnel: Jeff Hamilton - Drums;
Gene Harris - Piano;
Ray Brown - Bass;
Mickey Roker - Drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.