Ronnie Ball (p), Lee Konitz, Art Pepper (as), Willie Dennis (tb), Warne Marsh, Ted Brown (ts), Billy Bauer (g), Wendell Marshall, Peter Ind, Oscar Pettiford, Ben Tucker (b), Kenny Clarke, Jeff Morton, Stan Levey (d)
Reference: FSRCD 570
Bar code: 8427328605700
Includes extensive booklet with recording details, extensive notes and rare photos.
From the moment English-born pianist Ronnie Ball arrived in New York in 1952, his ambition was to learn more about music, study more, become a part of the American jazz scene, feel a sense of accomplishment and belonging. He established a healthy rapport with pianist Lennie Tristano and started to develop his style, along with lots of other young players, including tenorist Ted Brown and trombonist Willie Dennis, who figured so prominently in the weekend sessions at Lennies school.
Most of the sounds on this set are extensions and interpretations of Tristanos musical philosophy. That is the aim of this compilation; to gather Ronnies only album as a leader, All About Ronnie, with all the recordings of his compositions he recorded as a sideman with the Tristano clique - rewarding, moving music, revealing all the resources of his formidable playing. This is therefore a homage to a vastly underrated pianist whose deep talent deserved, to many jazz fans, much wider recognition.
—Jordi Pujol (From the inside liner notes)
Notes to 'All About Ronnie':
"Not exactly a household name, Ronnie Ball is probably best known for his charts on the Warne Marsh LP 'Jazz of Two Cities' (available on the Capitol Jazz Tristano/Warne Marsh two-fer, 'Intuition'). While "Ear Conditioning" could be considered an underground classic and perhaps his vision at its most fully realized peak, this underappreciated session from earlier in 1956 is very enjoyable in its own right. Like 'Jazz of Two Cities', Ball is joined by tenor saxophonist Ted Brown. Otherwise the cast includes Willie Dennis on trombone, Wendell Marshall on bass, and the versatile Kenny Clarke on drums. Listeners familiar with better-known sessions from the Tristano school probably know what to expect on this date. Many of the tunes, especially the two Ball originals, feature rapid-fire heads that, like "Ear Conditioning," don't resolve themselves for several bars at a time, making them rather like transcribed Charlie Parker solos that have been appropriated into altogether new themes. Particularly of interest is Ball's decision to employ the exact same dissonant three-against-four bridge before returning to the respective heads of both the first and second tunes on the record, prompting one to question whether or not the first song is simply repeated. While on the surface this music might seem (and probably is) like overly academic bebop, it doesn't pretend to be anything else and should be accepted for what it is: a style that is as seemingly light and carefree as it is harmonically dense and aesthetically probing."
Brandon Burke -All Music Guide