Reference: CHR 70110 CD
Bar code: 0608917011029
Bob Brookmeyer, Michael Stephans, Tom Warrington, Larry Koonse This disc is further documentation of a lifelong friendship - both musical and personal. Bob has been my mentor, big brother, and my deep and lasting friend. Add to this, the beautiful, empathetic music of our friends, the brilliant guitarist Larry Koonse, and the always inventive bassist Tom Warrington, and you have a four-way conversation that is both immensely appealing and completely captivating.
Every track on this CD is unique, and the Brookmeyer persona is everywhere, from the gently oblique If I Loved You to the unabashed lyricism of Kathleen; from Bob's sui generis piano playing on Koonse's Longing, to the wildly twisting, turning title track. The Dutch radio station Concertzender has chosen Stay out of the Sun as disc of the month immediately after it's release.
"This recording celebrates a friendship going back many years, dating to when Bob Brookmeyer was struggling with alcoholism in the mid-'70s and a young drummer, Michael Stephans, was trying to encourage him to return to performing. Fast forward to the year 2000 and all is well; Brookmeyer is at the top of his game as a valve trombonist and composer/arranger, with Stephans ready to play. In addition to Stephans, bassist Tom Warrington and guitarist Larry Koonse are on hand for some exciting music, with true interaction among the players, an all too rare occurrence in modern jazz. "If I Loved You" is a solid opener, stretching well past Rodgers & Hammerstein's original concept of the song. "Wistful Thinking" was written by Eric Von Essen, a talented bassist whose compositions are only starting to be appreciated since his untimely death. "Stay Out of the Sun" is a playful work by Brookmeyer that is full of humor, while his tender ballad "Kathleen" opens with a moving duet by the leader and Koonse. "The Turtle" is primarily a loping bop number, though it begins with a wild chase between Brookmeyer and Koonse. "Bruise" sounds like a group improvisation initially, though it eventually winds its way into an intricate blues setting. The novel duo arrangement of "Blue in Green" begins with unaccompanied guitar, with Brookmeyer making a powerful entrance in due time; the haunting chart has an unresolved ending. The leader switches to piano for Koonse's emotional ballad "Longing." Highly recommended."
Ken Dryden -All Music Guide