Finally Ron

Finally Ron

by Ron Hockett


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Finally Ron

Clarinetist Ron Hockett's debut recording as a leader comes later in life at age 60, after hanging out in the Chicago scene studying with Benny Bailey, going to Princeton University, returning to Chi-Town, working in the Washington, D.C. jazz scene and the U.S. Marine Jazz Band for three decades, and enjoying considerable time with the trad band of Jim Cullum. The clear influence of Benny Goodman's smooth and sweet swing sound is noticeable from the start, but you can hear the influence of his hero Peanuts Hucko, Bob Wilber, and even Stan Getz in the lyrical quality Hockett exudes. He's put together an excellent backup band, with the brilliant guitarist James Chirillo and pianist John Sheridan as his main foils. Bassist Phil Flanigan and drummer Jake Hanna are veterans who know all too well the values of the swing rhythm and the tunes that brought it to prominence. You'd be hard pressed to find a better group anywhere that can play standards as well, or support Hockett's sleek and mellow style the way they do. His original "Blues for Jack," the immortal "Beale Street Blues," and Wingy Manone's "Strange Blues" are more about feeling than technical skills, while "Gone with the Wind," "If Dreams Come True," and the stop-start "Too Close for Comfort" display and define the flawless and consistent fluid dynamics the band employs. At their hottest, the group is playful and utterly swinging on the no-frills take of "Hindustan," the slightly extrapolated "Just One of Those Things," and the cute near bopper "Undecided." Chirillo is a marvelous man to have in the starting five, as his witty, clean, and charming guitar riffs fit perfectly with Hockett and Sheridan during "Undecided." He plays off the two, trading phrases for "Nuages," or jumps in rhythmic cohesion à la Freddie Green for "Reverie," the Bob Wilber tune where Hockett switches to soprano sax. Another piece, "My Ideal," has Hockett's soprano in a bossa nova groove, a twist for this type of group, and reflective of the influence of Getz. Admittedly this is a jam session with not much writing or arranging involved, but a document of a thoroughly professional band having fun in support of an old friend finally given an opportunity to show his wares. If you like the clarinet work of other lesser knowns like Kim Cusak, Chuck Hedges, or the truly great Kenny Davern, you'll easily enjoy this long overdue effort from a wonderful lifetime sideman finally making the first team.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/13/2009
Label: Arbors Records
UPC: 0780941136029
catalogNumber: 19360
Rank: 133981

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ron Hockett   Primary Artist,Clarinet,Soprano Saxophone,Group Member
Jake Hanna   Drums,Group Member
James Chirillo   Guitar,Group Member
Phil Flanigan   Bass,Group Member
John Sheridan   Piano,Group Member

Technical Credits

Eubie Blake   Composer
Benny Goodman   Composer
Django Reinhardt   Composer
Bob Wilber   Composer
Charlie Shavers   Composer
Wingy Manone   Composer
Irving Mills   Composer
Edgar Sampson   Composer
W.C. Handy   Composer
Jimmy McHugh   Composer
Andy Razaf   Composer
Jerry Bock   Composer
Dorothy Fields   Composer
Herbert Magidson   Composer
Cole Porter   Composer
Leo Robin   Composer
George David Weiss   Composer
Spencer Williams   Composer
Allie Wrubel   Composer
Mat Domber   Executive Producer
Rachel Domber   Executive Producer
Richard A. Whiting   Composer
Newell Chase   Composer
Harold Weeks   Composer
Ross Firestone   Liner Notes,Author
Ron Hockett   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Audio Production
Luke Melton   Cover Design
Larry Holofcener   Composer
Sid Robin   Composer

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