Barry Ries: Solitude in the Crowd

James Aerbersold has recorded veteran trumpeter-drummer Barry Ries’s highly successful mid-forties leader debut. From Cincinnati to North Texas State, the Apple, Miami to Boston, you may recall Ries with Silver, Hampton, Machito, and in the studios with Don Sebesky. Those experiences temper his careful discipline and deft execution to produce a subtle rhythmic judgment and wonderful lyricism; note his comfort at negotiating the chordal suspension of Ron Miller’s “Small Feats” (“a stretched out ‘Giant Steps'”) and his wisely moderating the warmth of obscure standards like Cole Porter’s “Everything I Love” and originals. His solo for the arresting waltz “Doves Eye” continues its lovely echoes. Heavy-weight Joe Lovano and rhythm mates Michael Cochrane and Billy Drummond or Yoron Israel make perfect associates; and the slithering ambience of bassist Dennis Irwin’s “Myrrh” and his 4/4 arrangement of Monk’s “Ugly Beauty” lead to some compelling listening alternatives.