JazzTimes - 7-8/02, p.91
"...A first-rate album..."
NAPRA Review - 09-10/02, pp.80-81
"...Much of the album is toe-tappingly upbeat, and even the mellower tracks possess an element of fun that keeps this album lively and a pleasure to hear..."
Personnel includes: Ray Brown (bass); Geoff Keezer (piano); Kenny Burrell, Herb Ellis, Bruce Forman, Russell Malone, John Pizzarelli, Ulf Wakenius (guitar); Karriem Riggins (drums).
Recorded at Avatar, New York, New York; O'Henry Studios, Burbank, California between January 10 and Febrary 22, 2000.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Herb Ellis, John Pizzarelli, Kenny Burrell, Russell Malone, Ulf Wakenius, Bruce Forman (guitar); Geoff Keezer (piano); Karriem Riggins (drums).
Recording information: Avatar Studios, Studio A, New York, NY (01/10/2000-02/??/2000); O'Henry Studios, Studio A, Burbank, CA (01/10/2000-02/??/2000).
Editor: Todd Brown.
Photographer: Michael Halsband.
The fifth in Ray Brown's series of recordings pairing his working trio with several different musicians from the same family of instruments (although one volume was exclusively singers) features a half-dozen guitarists, ranging from fellow Oscar Peterson alumni Herb Ellis (who worked with Brown in the pianist's most famous trio) and Ulf Wakenius to veteran Kenny Burrell, as well as seasoned players like John Pizzarelli and Bruce Forman and the rising star Russell Malone. Each song sounds as if the group could be a working quartet, due to the great interaction between the trio and each guest. Pizzarelli shines in a bluesy, strutting take of Duke Ellington's "Just Squeeze Me" (erroneously labeled as Fats Waller's "Squeeze Me") which has a nice series of exchanges between the guitarist and the leader. Ellis brings back memories of the Oscar Peterson Trio with a heated performance of "I Want to Be Happy" during which pianist Geoff Keezer is up to the task of carrying on where Ellis left off. Wakenius is the guest on a particularly moody take of "My Funny Valentine." Burrell, Forman, and Malone also fare nicely on each of their pair of tracks, so it's very easy to recommend this very enjoyable disc. ~ Ken Dryden