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Sunday, August 3, 2008

CD Review: Ron Westray - Medical Cures For The Chromatic Commands Of The Inner City

Ron Westray – Medical Cures For The Chromatic Commands Of The Inner City
2008, BCR

Ron Westray is probably one of the best trombone players of this generation. From his work with Wynton Marsalis to lead trombone in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra to his session work with every major jazz label imaginable, Westray has set himself apart from the rest in a genre where it can be hard to distinguish oneself. 2008 Sees the release of Ron Westray’s Medical Cures For The Chromatic Commands Of The Inner City, the next step in his musical journey.

Jazz is an art form that is dynamic and bold. There are no boundaries in great jazz other than the unspoken agreements that occur between the musicians in the midst of the moment. This means jazz can travel from seraphic highs to abject depths and all stops in between. It's all about where the moment and muse take the musician. But there are schools of jazz musicians that just play it safe. They don't embrace the highs or surf the lows to find magic, they just make music within the form of jazz and call it jazz. I bring this up because I am afraid that this is the approach Ron Westray has taken.

It's not that there is anything wrong with the particular approach, but it leaves much to be desired for the true jazz fan. The music achieved from this approach often tends to be pleasant to listen to -- safe. It's the sort of light jazz one often hears in restaurants in the dinner hour. It's easy to digest, but doesn't challenge either the listener or the musician along the way. The end result is a pleasant record that I will probably not listen to again; not because it's bad, but there's just nothing in particular here to bring me back.

If you are a fan of light jazz (Or Lite Jazz, as the marketers would have it), then you'll enjoy Medical Cures. If you are a true Jazz fan, then this is probably a little light for you. Either way, it's a pleasant listen.

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Ron Westray at You can purchase a copy of Medical Cures at CD Universe .

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