Saturday, January 7, 2017

Tim Ray "Windows"

Windows; Tim Ray, piano
It seems like straight ahead piano trio records are becoming something of a rarity these days. You know, piano, bass and drums. No doubling on Fender Rhodes, no electric bass and no foolishness. So in that spirit, hats off to pianist Tim Ray and his trio. They give us an idea of what's ahead as they open with a spirited and funky "I'm Beginning To See The Light". Next is "Monk's Dream" and it's taken at a pretty fast clip and with more than a hint of some frisky Latin attire. Other well established but hardly overplayed jazz staples include Herbie Hancock's "Toys" and "Dolphin Dance"; the title tune "Windows" by Chick Corea; and a stunning version of Horace Silver's "Peace". The only choice from the standard book is "Star Eyes" at a quick pace and with some fresh percussive accents. Among the trio's originals, I was most impressed with "DE-Train", perhaps a distant cousin to that other conveyance, "A Train", and the quirky, high energy closer "12 by 7". In the company of John Lockwood, bass, and Mark Walker, drums, pianist Tim Ray has produced an immensely satisfying CD. When it's all said and done, you can't beat a solid piano-bass-drums trio. And these guys are holding all the right cards.

Whaling City Sound; 2016; appx. 70 min.

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