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Walk On: The Final Ray Brown Recording by Ray Brown

With the one year anniversary of the passing of bassist Ray Brown just around the corner, it’s not surprising to see this two-disc package of what amounts to the final studio recordings of Brown’s trio, along with a whole other disc of previously unissued tracks recorded between 1994 and 2000. Not withstanding the leader’s obvious talents, the key to Brown’s trio work has always been a strong pianist and Geoff Keezer more than adequately fits the bill here, even if the over results are rather tepid. It’s the up tempo numbers that are the most memorable, particularly "Lined With a Groove" and "Fried Pies." A bowed "Hello Girls" seems an odd choice for a closer, not to mention a peculiar title for a rather melancholy number.

Benny Green packs a sizable punch as one of the bassist’s finest sidemen on the seconds disc’s live numbers. The romps through "F.S.R." and "This Is Always" are a delight and balanced nicely in terms of shared solo space. A few numbers that find Brown in tandem with fellow bassists John Clayton and Christian McBride are purely for bass fanatics only, and even the abundance of Brown’s own solo work might prove to be a distraction for some listeners. Best in small doses, Walk On adds relatively little to Brown’s already sizable recorded legacy, but will undoubtedly please his most ardent fans.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Ray Brown
  • CD Title: Walk On: The Final Ray Brown Recording
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Telarc
  • Rating: Three Stars
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