Ben’s a true clarinet virtuoso with a Louisiana-bred, lifelong passion for trad jazz. Add Tom Mitchell, a gypsy-trained Django style guitarist, plus the perfect bassist for swing and blues—John Previti. That's the Redwine Trio. JazzTimes praises, “Redwine’s extensive training manifests itself in his impressive agility and lovely tone...Mitchell’s acoustic sound fits the setting perfectly, whether he’s strumming chords or picking out dancing, single-note lines. Previti anchors the rhythm with a big sound and contributes flowing, melodic solos of his own.” The warm, live sound is beyond anything you’ll find outside Mapleshade's catalog.
1. Baby Won't You Please Come Home (C.Warfield, C.Williams) Listen to Sample
2. Marie (I.Berlin) Listen to Sample
3. Louisiana Fairy Tale (Parish, Gillespie, Coots)
4-6. The Georgia Brown Suite (Bernie, Pinkard, Casey)
7. Mapleshade Blues (B.Redwine)
8. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans? (L.Alter, E.DeLange)
9. Georgia (H.Carmichael, S.Gorell)
10. Hey, Good Lookin' (H.Williams)
11. New Orleans (H.Carmichael)
12. Baltimore Oriole (H.Carmichael, P.F.Webster) Listen to Full Song
With a master’s degree in clarinet, Ben Redwine plays the E-flat version in the United States Naval Academy band in Annapolis, Md., and baritone saxophone in the institution’s jazz band. He also leads popular traditional jazz groups of his own in the Washington-Baltimore area. Released in late 2004, Baby Won’t You Please Come Home is Redwine’s first full-length CD and features two fine accompanists in guitarist Tom Mitchell, Jr. and bassist John Previti, both well-regarded local players.
Redwine’s theme for the album was music suggestive of “each of the places I’ve loved” (hence the title song), so it includes such pieces as “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans,” “Louisiana Fairy Tale,” “The Georgia Brown Suite” and Hoagy Carmichael’s “New Orleans,” “Georgia” and “Baltimore Oriole.” In a nod toward Redwine’s youth in Oklahoma, “Marie” and “Hey, Good Lookin’” round out the program.
Redwine’s extensive training manifests itself in his impressive agility and lovely tone. He also plays expressively and negotiates his material confidently. Mitchell’s acoustic sound fits the setting perfectly, whether he’s strumming chords or picking out dancing, single-note lines. Previti anchors the rhythm with a big sound and contributes flowing, melodic solos of his own. -David Franklin
Review by Amazon.com
Ben Redwine is a clarinetist performing in the Washington, D.C., area and a member of the U.S. Naval Academy Band. This outing with a trio also including Tom Mitchell on guitar and John Previti on bass is a breakthrough recording. As Redwine states in the liner notes "My concept ... was to make a 'gumbo' using influences from each of the places I have loved..." This "musical gumbo" has as its ingredients Redwine's flawless techniques on the horn, perhaps the most beautiful tone to be heard anywhere currently on jazz clarinet especially at the bottom of the instrument's range, impeccable phrasing that lets the music "breathe," a level of interplay among the members of the trio that borders on psychic, and a knowledge of the history of these standard songs that makes them sound traditional and completely fresh at the same time. This is all liberally spiced by an awful lot of knowledge about the New Orleans jazz tradition.
While one may be initially drawn to several well-known standard tunes including a haunting rendition of "Georgia (on my Mind)" and three variations on "Sweet Georgia Brown" called the "Georgia Brown Suite", there is not a single track on this CD that fails to delight one's ears. "Sweet Georgia Brown" has been recorded almost countless times by some of the most important jazz artists of all times. Within this context, Redwine's three versions -- each connected but quite different from one another -- can be considered as quite possibly the definitive ones on the clarinet, and among the very best on any instrument. There can perhaps be no greater praise of a jazz album but to say that every song and virtually every phrase within these songs is "haunting" and evokes complex imagery and feelings.
At a time when the clarinet is again re-emerging as a major jazz instrument, Ben Redwine and his trio have both summarized the past -- by their brilliant understanding of traditional music -- and defined a major path for the future. Redwine's music deserves to be considered as being at the same level as his well-known, and equally brilliant contemporaries Ken Peplowski and Don Byron. If Redwine continues to record at this level over a period of years, he will undoubtedly establish his own school of jazz clarinet playing: his sound and phrasing are absolutely beautiful and sound truly original.
If you love jazz clarinet, you will have to own this CD. If you like jazz clarinet, you will probably love it after listening to this CD a couple of times.
As a technical footnote, the recording quality on this CD far surpasses most current jazz CDs being released and further adds to the enjoyment of the music. –George Huba, jazz aficionado