Walk On

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Roberta Penn
Ray Brown was a bassist for all times and all kinds of music. Well, perhaps not all kinds. A few years ago, Brown fainted onstage during a set at Jazz Alley in Seattle. When the paramedics arrived and Brown came to, they asked him if he was allergic to anything. “Country and western music,” he replied without skipping a beat. So although you won’t find any C&W on the posthumous double-CD set Walk On you will experience the versatility of Ray Brown. The first disc was originally slated for release shortly after Brown’s death, but Telarc, Brown’s label for the past few years, thought it inappropriate and waited to pair it with a second disc drawn from the leader’s ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Roberta Penn
Ray Brown was a bassist for all times and all kinds of music. Well, perhaps not all kinds. A few years ago, Brown fainted onstage during a set at Jazz Alley in Seattle. When the paramedics arrived and Brown came to, they asked him if he was allergic to anything. “Country and western music,” he replied without skipping a beat. So although you won’t find any C&W on the posthumous double-CD set Walk On you will experience the versatility of Ray Brown. The first disc was originally slated for release shortly after Brown’s death, but Telarc, Brown’s label for the past few years, thought it inappropriate and waited to pair it with a second disc drawn from the leader’s work throughout his history with the label. The first CD captures the experimental edge of the trio that Brown led with pianist Geoffrey Keezer and drummer Karriem Riggins. Keezer lets loose on “Sunday” and a version of “America the Beautiful,” which starts with Brown’s fat, smooth, and always dancing bass line. But then the trio simply swings through “Honeysuckle Rose” and gives Wes Montgomery’s “Fried Pies” a jump feel. Brown plays the melody on the bluesy version of “You Are My Sunshine,” which he often played in live sets. That was the bandleader’s sense of humor and brilliance: He could disguise corny, trite tunes and then, after letting the audience in on the joke by playing the melody, turn the tune upside down in improvised and astute individual solos. But he was also a serious player and composer, as illustrated in his original three-part piece “Ray Brown Suite.” Though none are present on this package, Brown also had a way with singers. He accompanied Ella Fitzgerald in the late '40s and then married her. More than four decades later, it was Brown whom Diana Krall went to for courage and polish, as did players like pianist Benny Green and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, who are featured on several cuts of Disc 2. This trio is completely different than his latter one. On “F.S.R.” Green is intensely sympatico with the leader and replicates Brown’s blues-filled lines before pumping out precise notes of his own at breakneck speed. Hutchinson is a powerful drummer but shows his sensitivity on a live version of “Stardust.” There is one cut with pianist Monty Alexander and drummer Lewis Nash, a rousing, gospely “Woogie Boogie,” written by the pianist, with whom Brown worked in the '80s. Brown was so confident about his own playing that he made a CD with two other brothers of the bass, John Clayton and Christian McBride. This trio again shows the many facets of the creative leader. The capper to the package is the three bassists joining for a wonderfully spunky version of the old hymn “Down by the Riverside.” Ray Brown may have passed away, but his personal style as the premier bassist of many decades, as well as his charming personality, comes through on every tune. If you want to go deeper into the many sounds of Ray Brown, there are also fine recordings of Brown with the LA Four, Oscar Peterson, Gene Harris, Milt Jackson, and dozens -- if not hundreds -- of others.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
What a curious, if delightful, package Walk On is. Comprised of two CDs -- the first is the final Ray Brown trio date from January 2000 with Geoffrey Keezer and Karriem Riggins, and the second is two separate live shows from 1994 and 1996 respectively -- the players range from Keezer to Monty Alexander and Bennie Green, bassists Josh Clayton and Christian McBride, and drummers Lewis Nash and Gregory Hutchinson. Disc one is pure Brown majesty as he and the band literally walk, very sprightly, through a series of classics such as "You Are My Sunshine," "Stella by Starlight," Wes Montgomery's "Fried Pies," and "Sunday." But more importantly, they showcase the delicate intricacy of Brown's own compositions on the three-part "Ray Brown Suite," the illustriously lush "Hello Girls" -- with a stunning interplay dialogue between Keezer and Brown -- and the funky "Lined With a Groove" that reveals the Horace Silver soul touch in its melodic line. Disc two is from gigs that showcase the different sides of Brown as a leader: the driven, intense improviser who found a groove and extrapolated upon it until it turned into something else, with Hutchinson and Green on "F.S.R." and "Stardust"; the loping strolling bassist who can drive a band with his easy, slippery phrasing, with Alexander and Nash on "Woogie Boogie"; and the dialogue artist concerned with dynamics and the intricacy of a melody's separate harmonic elements, with McBride, Keezer, and Clayton on "Down by the Riverside." In each case, Brown is the consummate listener, the very archetype of economic musical wisdom and a supreme lyricist in his phrasing. One of the most revealing things about this set is how Brown's true worth as a composer, bandleader, and improviser is not yet known and probably won't be for decades to come. But make no mistake; it will be. This may not be the finest of Brown's moments on record, but the recordings are fine, shining examples of his artistry, and they are, alas, the final examples.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/22/2003
  • Label: Telarc
  • UPC: 089408351525
  • Catalog Number: 83515
  • Sales rank: 75,144

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ray Brown Trio Primary Artist
Monty Alexander Piano
Lewis Nash Drums
Ray Brown Bass, Indexed Contributor
John Clayton Bass
Benny Green Piano
Gregory Hutchinson Drums
Christian McBride Bass
Karriem Riggins Drums
Technical Credits
Jimmie Davis Composer
Hoagy Carmichael Composer
Monty Alexander Composer
Wes Montgomery Composer
Fats Waller Composer
Ned Miller Composer
Andy Razaf Composer
Michael Bishop Engineer
Alan Brandt Composer
Ray Brown Composer, Producer
John Clayton Composer, Liner Notes
Chester Cohn Composer
Duke Ellington Composer
Milt Gabler Composer
Elaine Martone Producer
Charles Mitchell Composer
Thelonious Monk Composer
Mitchell Parish Composer
Jack Renner Engineer
Jule Styne Composer
Harry Warren Composer
Ned Washington Composer
Robert Woods Executive Producer
Victor Young Composer
Samuel A. Ward Composer
Anilda Carrasquillo Art Direction
Bob Haymes Composer
Katherine Lee Bates Composer
Traditional Composer
Ed Meitner Engineer
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