CD Finally Ron (CD 4370736),
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Finally Ron

  • 1. Too Close for Comfort
    2. Nuages
    3. Hindustan
    4. My Ideal
    5. Everybody Loves My Baby
    6. Blues for Jack
    7. Just One of Those Things
    8. On the Sunny Side of the Street
    9. Memories of You
    10. If Dreams Come True
    11. Gone with the Wind
    12. Reverie
    13. Beale Street Blues
    14. Undecided
    15. Strange Blues
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 19360

  • Credits
    ProducerRon Hockett; Ron Hockett

    Ron Hockett: Ron Hockett (clarinet, soprano saxophone); James Chirillo (guitar); John Sheridan (piano); Phil Flanigan (bass instrument); Jake Hanna (drums).
    Audio Mixer: Jim Czak.
    Liner Note Authors: Ross Firestone; Ron Hockett.
    Recording information: Nola Studios, New York, NY (01/15/2008-01/16/2008).
    Author: Ross Firestone.
    Clarinetist Ron Hockett's debut recording as a leader comes later in life at age 60, after hanging out in the Chicago scene studying with Benny Bailey, going to Princeton University, returning to Chi-Town, working in the Washington, D.C. jazz scene and the U.S. Marine Jazz Band for three decades, and enjoying considerable time with the trad band of Jim Cullum. The clear influence of Benny Goodman's smooth and sweet swing sound is noticeable from the start, but you can hear the influence of his hero Peanuts Hucko, Bob Wilber, and even Stan Getz in the lyrical quality Hockett exudes. He's put together an excellent backup band, with the brilliant guitarist James Chirillo and pianist John Sheridan as his main foils. Bassist Phil Flanigan and drummer Jake Hanna are veterans who know all too well the values of the swing rhythm and the tunes that brought it to prominence. You'd be hard pressed to find a better group anywhere that can play standards as well, or support Hockett's sleek and mellow style the way they do. His original "Blues for Jack," the immortal "Beale Street Blues," and Wingy Manone's "Strange Blues" are more about feeling than technical skills, while "Gone with the Wind," "If Dreams Come True," and the stop-start "Too Close for Comfort" display and define the flawless and consistent fluid dynamics the band employs. At their hottest, the group is playful and utterly swinging on the no-frills take of "Hindustan," the slightly extrapolated "Just One of Those Things," and the cute near bopper "Undecided." Chirillo is a marvelous man to have in the starting five, as his witty, clean, and charming guitar riffs fit perfectly with Hockett and Sheridan during "Undecided." He plays off the two, trading phrases for "Nuages," or jumps in rhythmic cohesion la Freddie Green for "Reverie," the Bob Wilber tune where Hockett switches to soprano sax. Another piece, "My Ideal," has Hockett's soprano in a bossa nova groove, a twist for this type of group, and reflective of the influence of Getz. Admittedly this is a jam session with not much writing or arranging involved, but a document of a thoroughly professional band having fun in support of an old friend finally given an opportunity to show his wares. If you like the clarinet work of other lesser knowns like Kim Cusak, Chuck Hedges, or the truly great Kenny Davern, you'll easily enjoy this long overdue effort from a wonderful lifetime sideman finally making the first team. ~ Michael G. Nastos

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