Brown's work seems classic now, but in the '40s he was part of the bop revolution, along with fellow bassists Oscar Pettiford and Charles Mingus. Following the lead of Ellington bassist Jimmy Blanton, they transformed the role of the instrument from mere timekeeper to that of featured soloist. From Brown's earliest professional gigs right up until the present, he's had phenomenal technical ability, a beautiful, resonant tone, tremendous swing as an accompanist, and, in his solos, brilliant lyricism and inventiveness. He is one of the last of the great bebop masters.
-- Ira Steingroot
The Ray Brown Trio, featuring pianist Geoff Keezer and drummer Greg Hutchison, performs Tuesday through Sunday, Sept. 1-6, at Yoshi's, 510 Embarcadero West in Oakland. Tickets are $16-20; call (510) 238-9200.