Bassist Ray Brown remains one of jazz's most brilliant musicians and, at 74 years old, his new work continues to stand out. Telarc will release its twelfth Ray Brown recording, Some of My Best Friends Are...The Trumpet Players, which spotlights Terence Blanchard, Jon Faddis, Roy Hargrove, James Morrison, Nicholas Payton, and Clark Terry, each backed with scintillating force by Ray's trio.
Among Some of My Best Friends Are...The Trumpet Players' many high points are Roy Hargrove's honoring of Dizzy with Tadd Dameron's bebop title "Our Delight," Jon Faddis' unusually slow version of the classic "Bags' Groove," Nicholas Payton's charge through Joe Henderson's "The Kicker," and Terence Blanchard's reprise of Benny Goodman's "Goodbye."
This latest installment in Ray Brown's Some of My Best Friends Are... series follows 1998's acclaimed Some of My Best Friends Are...Singers (CD-83441), which included guests Dee Dee Bridgewater, Diana Krall, and Kevin Mahogany. Ray began with Some of My Best Friends Are...The Piano Players (CD-83373) in 1995, assembling Geoff Keezer, Benny Green, Oscar Peterson, and fellow Pittsburgher Ahmad Jamal. Some of My Best Friends Are...The Sax Players (CD-83388), with Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman, and Stanley Turrentine, was released in 1996.
Brown also joined forces with Oscar Peterson and Milt Jackson for Telarc's The Very Tall Band (CD-83443), a landmark collaboration recorded live at the Blue Note, November 24—26, 1998. On his first-ever holiday recording as a leader, 1999's Christmas Songs with the Ray Brown Trio (CD-83437), the legendary bassist gave seven big-name vocalists a chance to strut their stuff on a collection of holiday favorites.
Born in Pittsburgh in 1926, Ray Brown, one of the most recorded musicians in history, has led a distinguished six-decade career; establishing himself as the world's leading jazz bassist in the bop style. The world first met Brown through trumpet giant Dizzy Gillespie, who began featuring him and his compositions in combo and then big band settings in 1946. Thanks to Brown's subsequent tenure with Jazz at the Philharmonic and producer Norman Granz, the bassist also performed with Roy Eldridge, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Louis Armstrong, and Clark Terry, the senior participant in the present collection.
No one conveys the spirit, elegance, and wisdom of jazz better than Ray Brown. The world's premier bassist, Brown's high-profile activities make him one of the most popular artists in jazz. Some of My Best Friends Are...The Trumpet Players demonstrates why he remains such a perennial favorite.