Ron Blake

Lest We Forget

Mack Avenue Records MAC 1012

Ron Blake, tenor and soprano saxophones; Joey DeFrancesco, Hammond B3 organ; Greg Hutchinson, drums; Christian McBride, acoustic and electric bass; David Gilmore, electric and acoustic guitar; Rashawn Ross, trumpet; Bob Muller, triangle.

New York saxophonist Ron Blake pays tribute to three musicians with this set; Charles Earland, Stanley Turrentine and Grover Washington Jr. Christian McBride, who plays acoustic and electric bass, produced the CD. Blake celebrates the classic Hammond B3 organ trio sound in what is an entertaining set. Blake on tenor sax has a no-nonsense, clean and powerful sound, crafting his playing intelligently; there are some fine trumpet insertions on five of the tracks by Rashawn Ross, and Joey DeFrancesco plays the Hammond with suitable aplomb. Grover Washington's "Happenstance", is my favorite piece; combining good harmonic and melodic playing from all the musicians, Blake taking a softer approach on this one. He has a good stretching solo in "You Must Believe In Spring", and Blake lyrically plays "Making Love To You" on soprano sax, with some exciting improvisation. "Mighty Burner", is a real driver, highlighting an eager Rashawn Ross on trumpet. Not a CD passes without a traditional Latin number, "Asalto Navideno", is Blake's contribution, with twinkling guitar from David Gilmore. This is a good, pleasing Jazz.

by Ferdinand Maylin