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Lest We Forget by Ron Blake

When he set out to pay tribute to pay tribute to some of the great musicians that inspired his own affection for through the vehicle of the classic organ trio, saxophonist Ron Blake had the good fortune to secure the services of everyone's first call for the B-3, Joey DeFrancesco, and the drummer from Blake's own working quartet, Greg Hutchinson. With the basic elements in place, he recruited bassist Christian McBride, guitarist David Gilmore and trumpeter Rashawn Ross to add their own talents in various combinations on various tracks (the trio expands to as large as a sextet at times).

Then he made a great album. An album worthy of the players he dedicates it to - Stanley Turrentine, Shirley Scott, Charles Earland, Grover Washington, Jr. and J.J. Johnson. While his tribute takes the form of borrowing from the books of his inspirations, Blake's talent takes ownership of every track.

Blake turns in fine performances on the soprano sax when the material calls for that instrument, but it's his tenor work that floors me. Whichever instrument, though, his crisp tone and natural improvisational skills combine to distinguish Blake as one of the finest saxophonists - really, one of the finest musicians altogether - on the jazz scene, and there's no better demonstration of that than the ten tracks on Lest We Forget.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Ron Blake
  • CD Title: Lest We Forget
  • Genre: BeBop / Hard Bop
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Mack Avenue Records
  • Rating: Five Stars
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