|FOCUS ON BROWN'S BASS INSTINCTS
New York Post; New York; Nov 20, 1998; Chip Deffaa;
Copyright New York Post Corporation Nov 20, 1998
THE strengths for which 72-year-old bassist Ray Brown is world- renowned - beauty of sound, tastefulness and generosity toward others on the bandstand - remain intact.
The Blue Note currently has Brown sharing the stage with a changing array of artists, including Dee Dee Bridgewater, through Sunday; Oscar Peterson and Milt Jackson, Tuesday through Thursday; followed by Diana Krall, Nov. 27-29.
On Wednesday, Bridgewater shined brightest on uptempo numbers, scatting with great elan, sass and originality. Of her ballads, I liked her most when she sang simply and directly, as in "Dear Ella." I didn't see the point to her occasional affectations of an excessively coy, over-the-top sexy voice, in the Marilyn Monroe tradition.
Geoff Keezer repeatedly enlivened proceedings on piano, whether adding a grace-filled, sensitive yet sprightly little cluster of notes to her featured numbers, or appropriately impish passages in a tribute to Thelonius Monk.