He plays multiple instruments; he has recorded and toured with a lot of different artists, covering a wide variety of styles; he has performed on several soundtracks for films and television shows; and, when time permits, composes and performs his own music. On his new album, This Way, Tom Ranier plays piano, synthesizers, saxophone and clarinet. He is joined by Trey Henry on bass, Ralph Humphrey on drums, and Thom Rotella on guitar. The album features mostly original material. The opening track, “Blue Aria,” has something of an easygoing vibe, and features some really nice work on keys. It is followed by “Circle,” one of my favorite tracks. This one has a pretty and somewhat comforting sound, and then goes in some interesting directions, and includes a lead on bass which comes as a surprise when it starts. There is something uplifting about the work on piano, which is what ultimately makes this track special. Things then get looser with the album’s title track, which has a light vibe and groove. Another highlight for me is “Trio Vision,” which has a cool sound and flavor. The two covers on this release are “Secret Heart,” written by Randy Brecker and Eliane Elias, and “Desafinado,” written by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Newton Mendoca and Viniclus De Moraes. This album was released on June 26, 2020.
Friday, July 3, 2020
Brief Notes On New Jazz Releases
The world is attempting to get back to normal, as if the pandemic is a thing of the past. But of course it isn’t. Not even close. So what we are presented with is this weird, artificial version of normal, which is somehow more frightening and odd than the period of isolation. Fortunately, artists are continuing to release excellent albums to help us through this time. Here are some brief notes on a few new jazz releases you might want to check out.