Friday, June 23, 2017

Lori Bell and Ron Satterfield: blue(s)

By Ric Bang
Buy CD: blue(s)

Lori Bell is no stranger to music, whether the genre is jazz or classical; she’s one of the finest virtuoso flutists, composers, arrangers, educators and producers of our times. This is her 10th release.

Guitarist Ron Satterfield, less well known, began in the San Diego jazz scene. He was making a name for himself during the 1970s and ’80s, when he fell prey to substance abuse and hit bottom. He recovered after two years of rehabilitation, and Bell — a close friend — played a significant role in his resurrection.

Their collaboration here features nine tunes that are blues and/or have titles that include the word blue. Bell plays both the C and alto flute, and Satterfield blends his guitar work with vocals.

Bell wrote three of the tracks: “Bell’s Blues,” “Blue Butterflies” and “Istanblue.” The rest of the album menu features “Blue in Green” (Bill Evans and Miles Davis), “All Blues” (also by Miles), “Blue Monk” (Thelonious Monk), “Blue” (Joni Mitchell), “Teenie’s Blues” (Oliver Nelson') and “Blues on the Corner” (McCoy Tyner). 

They’re all swingers. Bell has a marvelous gift for combining classical phrasing with boppish timing, in both the melodic and solo lines. Satterfield’s guitar work and vocals — a combination of humming, scatting and verbal lines — blend perfectly throughout.

These two obviously enjoy each other, an essential component of our enjoyment as listeners. You’ll want this album in your library.

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