Excursions and Adventures

“Paint It Black”

(Whaling City Sound)

Potential synergy among bandmates might not always be readily observable on paper. Take for instance the members of the Tim Ray Trio. Pianist Ray, the musical director for Tony Bennett, has frequently toured with singer-songwriters Lyle Lovett and Jane Siberry. Bassist John Patitucci has long associations with Chick Corea and Wayne Shorter. And drummer Terri Lyne Carrington boasts a wide-ranging résumé that also includes Shorter, as well as Clark Terry, Cassandra Wilson and Rufus Reid, not to mention leading her own bands. The trio mates, who all share links to Berklee College of Music in Boston, come together for the first time on Excursions and Adventures (Whaling City Sound). The results are an exciting mix of original tunes by the principals, as well as forays into the expected (Thelonious Monks’ “Trinkle Tinkle”) and the delightfully unexpected (Billy Preston’s “Nothing From Nothing”). The trio also dives into a jazzy reinvention of The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black,” unraveling the moody skein of the Jagger-Richards composition, which leaves solo space for Patitucci’s virtuosic electric bass. Ray invests energy and imagination into his improvisations on the familiar melody, as Carrington drives the action with her quicksilver sticks. The musicians sound as if they were truly enjoying the songs and one another’s company, which comes across in the music.

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