Various Artists ~ Stone Jazz

Ironically, when I see all-star recordings of this magnitude I become a little apprehensive and justifiably so for the most part these projects are marketed to sell, records not necessarily make good music. When I first saw “Stone Jazz”, I had confronting feeling about this project; I wanted to believe that Stone Jazz was the recording session that was going to change the concept of all future all-star recordings.  

The Players: Charles Fambrough ~ Bass, Lenny White ~ Drums, Mark Kramer ~ Piano, Edgardo Cinto ~ Percussion, Steve Johns ~ Drums, Mulgrew Miller ~ Piano, Ralph Peterson Jr. ~ Drums, George Colligan ~ Piano 

As listeners when we approach a new recording, our emotions take flight and our brain goes into temporary exile waiting for that moment of musical ecstasy. The opening track is titled “Miss You” featuring Fambrough, White, arrangement by Kramer and Cinton helps to subdue the dust of clustered fragments left hanging around from first listen anxiety. These cats shoulder the responsibility of reworking classic songs giving each song their own prolific voice. 

Satisfaction holds down the second spot with an air of buoyant sophistication. Kramer, White, and Fambrough are the featured players on this track. 

Jazz lovers will be delighted by their interpretation of Ruby Tuesday, Kramer’s piano artistry works wonders complimented by the enormous talents of Fambrough, White and percussionist Edgardo Cinton.     

This Could Be The Last Time, is cleverly orchestrated this time with jazz moguls Mulgrew Miller on piano, Steve Johns, drums and Charles Fambrough returns once again on the acoustic bass. Miller takes us into the classroom with his piano stylings    

When I first heard Jumpin Jack Flash on Stone Jazz, I couldn’t believe my weary ears. This arrangement is by Fambrough and George Colligan. George works the keys and of course convincingly playing the acoustic piano. 

Paint It Black like all others on this set has been given a renewal, a fresh voice yet focusing on familiarity. Kramer, Johns and Fambrough are the facilitators of this mesmerizing tune. 

Pianist George Colligan strapped with a garment of some serious chops and expressively so on Under My Thumb is a positive indicator of why he was called in for this session. 

Waiting For A Friend breaks in at the 8th spot in a quartet setting once again featuring the “Mr. HandsGeorge Colligans along wit h the percussive talents of Cinton as he adds a little salsa flavoring to this masterpiece.  

Pianist Colligan’s piano playing and arrangement of Beast of Burden amazes me along the support of Fambrough and Peterson. 

As Tears Go By comes in at the last spot on Stone Jazz; this wonderful trio piece features percussionist Cinton, he handles his business in the led position as soloist. Pianist Mulgrew Miller adds his touch of elegance too this Rolling Stone classic. 

Like many of my friends and peers, I usually don’t care for cover tunes, renditions of classics or whatever. However, I do understand that every jazz musician that’s worth his or her weight in gold will at some point cover a few classics here and there. The most important aspect in this equation here is the unusual cast of seasoned players that were assembled for these recording classic Rolling Stones tunes. These cats have pulled it off, a big phat nod goes out to them for they’re gallant effort as supreme players and journeymen in jazz.  

Recommended for music enthusiasts everywhere!


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