Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A giant British jazzman . . .
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 02/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
". . . criminally unheard on this side of the Atlantic. Ruby, a program of standards, showcases only one aspect of Tony Coe's protean playing, composing, and band leadership--his uncanny way with a ballad--but is nevertheless glorious and revelatory. On the numbers where he plays tenor sax, he bears a distinct resemblance to another great and under recognized player, Houston Person, although I think he gets an even richer, more nuanced, and more evocative tone. Indeed, he is surely one of the greatest ballad players of all time. It helps greatly that he's surrounded with some of the very finest players on the British jazz scene, and that the proceedings were recorded with much warmth and detail.But it's on soprano where the real action takes place. Possessed of an uncanny ability to locate his tone exactly in the center of this notoriously awkward horn, he manages to maintain exact pitch throughout the entire register of his instrument. His intonation, timing, and tune-shaping of Bill Evans's "Prologue" are nothing short of astounding. Also noteworthy is his brilliance on clarinet ("More Than You Know" and "Some Other Autumn"). Indeed, he is almost certainly the greatest multi-reed player alive, eclipsing such notables as even Wayne Shorter and James Carter (at least in my view).I rejoice that I have him in a number of more adventurous settings (two Lonely Bears discs, a couple of Nato outings with Tony Hymas, his Jazzpar disc), but for those of you who don't have easy access to these recordings, his more readily available ones are certainly worth having. In a way, it's a shame that this disc is so tame because it doesn't give much of a chance for the other musicians, esp. drummer Steve Arguelles, to strut their considerable stuff.Arguelles, noted for his performances in much freer settings (such as Robert Dick's great Jazz Standards on Mars), gets a few tasty licks in here and there (esp. on "Love Walked In") but mostly he's relegated to establishing and maintaining a deep rhythmic swing, which he accomplishes in a deft and even idiosyncratic fashion. But one would really like to hear him have the opportunity to be a little more adventurous. Still, despite its conservatism, this is still a wonderfully evocative and gloriously listenable disc. Perfect for anyone who loves straight-ahead jazz marvelously played."