Baby Won't You Please Come Home
With a master’s degree in clarinet, Ben Redwine plays the E-flat version in the United States Naval Academy band in Annapolis, Md., and baritone saxophone in the institution’s jazz band. He also leads popular traditional jazz groups of his own in the Washington-Baltimore area. Released in late 2004, Baby Won’t You Please Come Home is Redwine’s first full-length CD and features two fine accompanists in guitarist Tom Mitchell, Jr. and bassist John Previti, both well-regarded local players.
Redwine’s theme for the album was music suggestive of “each of the places I’ve loved” (hence the title song), so it includes such pieces as “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans,” “Louisiana Fairy Tale,” “The Georgia Brown Suite” and Hoagy Carmichael’s “New Orleans,” “Georgia” and “Baltimore Oriole.” In a nod toward Redwine’s youth in Oklahoma, “Marie” and “Hey, Good Lookin’” round out the program.
Redwine’s extensive training manifests itself in his impressive agility and lovely tone. He also plays expressively and negotiates his material confidently. Mitchell’s acoustic sound fits the setting perfectly, whether he’s strumming chords or picking out dancing, single-note lines. Previti anchors the rhythm with a big sound and contributes flowing, melodic solos of his own.