Reference: FSRCD 541_2
Ronnell Bright is one of the most underrated jazz pianists of his generation. His classical background led him to approach the instrument with respect for its fullest potential, while much of his jazz apprenticeship was served with Chicagos Johnny Pate Trio. Brights virtues include an exuberant beat and a supple, pliant conception at medium and up-tempos, with a subtle tenderness in ballads. His playing is full of technical ease, with an expressively pianistic touch, and he can create fascinatingly complete statements when he digs in.
This compilation collects for the first time all of Ronnell Bright's trio recordings. The opening track was recorded in his Chicago hometown with two local musicians. The second date, his first as a leader, was done shortly after the pianist hit the Big Apple in 1956, with bassist Leonard Gaskin and guitarist Kenny Burrell; they provided very capable support, with Burrell in particular soloing well. The following sessions were with Joe Benjamin and Bill Clark, who integrated with skill and taste into his New York trio. The rewarding last session, with Richard Davis and Art Morgan, took place in Paris while Brights trio was accompanying Sarah Vaughan during the singers European tour in 1958.
01. Bright Bounce (2:37)
02. Pennies From Heaven (3:58)
03. Gone With The Wind (3:50)
04. If Im Lucky (3:50)
05. Blue Zepher (4:11)
06. Struttin In (3:48)
07. I See Your Face Before Me (3:46)
08. Brights Spot (3:11)
09. Little Girl Blue (4:01)
10. I Remember You (3:32)
11. Randalls Island (3:14)
12. Sallye (3:26)
13. People Will Say Were In Love (4:16)
14. Liza (2:44)
15. It Never Entered My Mind (2:32)
16. For Petes Sake (4:17)
17. Toasted Ammond (5:56)
18. It Could Happen To You (2:56)
19. How Little We Know (4:43)
20. Bohemia, U.S.A. (3:18)
21. Ive Grown Accustomed To Your Face (3:09)
Total time: 78:29 min.
01. The Champ (2:32)
02. Easy Listening Blues (4:22)
03. Chasing Sarah (3:40)
04. Doxology (5:54)
05. Sail Em (3:42)
06. Things Aint What They Used To Be (4:11)
07. Johnny Pates Blues (4:23)
08. R And R Groove (4:45)
Total time: 33:53 min.
CD 1, track #1 from the miscellaneous album "After Hours Jazz" (Epic LN 3339).
CD 1, tracks #2-9 from the LP "Bright's Spot" (Regent MG 6041).
CD 1, track #10 included on the Rolf Kuhn album "Streamline" (Vanguard VRS 8510).
CD 1, tracks #11-21 from the LP "Bright Flight" (Vanguad VRS 8512).
CD 2, all tracks from the LP "The Ronnell Bright Trio" (Polydor 46106).
Personnel on CD 1, track #1: Ronnel Bright (p), Wilbur Wynne (g) and Willard Nelson (d). Recorded in Chicago, on June 12, 1956.
Personnel on CD 1, tracks #2-9: Ronnel Bright (p), Kenny Burrell (g) and Leonard Gaskin (d). Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey, on September 26, 1956.
Personnel on CD 1, tracks #10-21: Ronnel Bright (p), Joe Benjamin (b) and Bill Clark (d). Recorded in New York City, on November 27 (#10) and March 2 (#11-21), 1957.
Personnel on CD 2: Ronnel Bright (p), Richard Davis (b) and Art Morgan (d). Recorded in Paris, on June 5, 1958.
"This drummerless piano trio dates from 1956 and is a gently swinging mix of bop and mainstream styles from talented pianist and composer Ronnell Bright. Not a household name, but Bright has worked with Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, and other illuminaries. His compositions have been performed by an equally stellar collection of players. This collaboration with guitarist Kenny Burrell and bassist Leonard Gaskin is a slightly updated variation of the drummer-less Nat Cole and Ahmad Jamal trios, groups that also featured superb guitarists (Oscar Moore and Ray Crawford, respectively). Burrell's presence on this mix of standards and Bright originals is key. He is the engine that swings the set, making the date a memorable one with his exquisite ballad work, hot bebop lines, choicely voiced comping on the slower tunes, and driving chord flurries on the up-tempo numbers. Gaskin takes a background role, leaving Bright and Burrell room to maneuver. While this is a fine session from their leader, fans of the guitarist will especially want to seek it out. As with many of his appearances on Savoy dates, Burrell has a way of becoming the focal point. In this case, he does so with playing that stands among his finest recorded performances."
Jim Todd -All Music Guide
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