Monday, September 15, 2008

EAR CANDY

Ear Food. What a catchy title, Roy. If I have my facts right, pianist Cedar Walton wrote a tune titled Ear Food. I’ll double check that, and get back to you. I’m certain your spin on Ear Food will make the cut on many jazz critics and journalist's best jazz albums of 2008 list. It will definitely be on my list.

I purchased Ear Food right after I heard you perform recently at the 29th Detroit International Jazz Festival. I listened to Strasbourg/St. Denis over and over. For weeks now, the melody pops up in my hears unannounced, and I'll start humming the tune. I’m serious about that, Roy. I’m totally addicted. By the way, where did you find Clayton? He’s a sensitive player and accompanist.

On Mr. Clean and Bring it On Home to Me, Clayton reminded me of pianist Joe Sample during his heyday with the Jazz Crusaders. (If Clayton reads this blog I hope he takes the comparison I made as a compliment).

Ear Food wasn’t the kind of album stuck in one gear. You mixed things up. You played an up tempo tunes. Next you, segued into ballads, giving listeners a chance to catch their breath. Brown and Joy Is Sorrow Unmasked were as a warm blanket.

Eight years ago, I attended your gig at the Serengeti Ballroom on Woodward Ave, in Detroit, Mi. The place was packed. You gave the people more than their money's worth. The same is true with Ear Food. Oh, by the way, I just remembered why I showed up late. I was at the Mack Avenue Records Pyramid Stage listening to drummer Gerald Cleaver’s quintet.
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