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  • 1Nothing from Nothing05:30
  • 2Maria (From "West Side Story")05:04
  • 3Gone, Not Forgotten06:30
  • 4Paint It, Black07:33
  • 5Trinkle Tinkle04:41
  • 6Unconditional Love07:04
  • 7Messiaen’s Gumbo04:55
  • 8Yours Is My Heart Alone (From "The Land of Smiles")06:21
  • 9Samsara (For Wayne Shorter)07:50
  • 10Yo 1106:18
  • 11Paint It, Black (Radio Edit)04:14
  • Total Runtime01:06:00

Info for Excursions and Adventures

“Excursions and Adventures” is a powerful inaugural recording session for this trio that often transcends description with its gorgeous fidelity, colorful arrangements, and fabulous, nuanced performances.

What happens when three masterful artists come together as a trio? The Duke did it with Mingus and Max Roach back in 1962. Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, and Jack DeJohnette continue to make memorable recordings. Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Erroll Garner put together some nice trios as well. The members of this trio, perhaps not yet the superstars of their forebears, have come together on Excursions and Adventures, with an impressive demonstration of musical skill and performance.

As many already know, Tim Ray (piano), Terri Lyne Carrington (drums), and John Patitucci (bass), have accomplished much individually, with multifaceted and diverse backgrounds, styles, and experience. They all have Berklee School of Music ties. But from there, they’ve spread themselves into very different corners of the jazz world. Ray, currently Tony Bennett’s musical director, has been a longtime road companion to Lyle Lovett and Jane Siberry. Acclaimed bassist Patitucci initially made a name for himself with Chick Corea, and has spent the better part of two decades with Wayne Shorter. Carrington, also with Shorter and a myriad of other top-flight jazz artists, is at the vanguard of today’s drum corps, with power, finesse, and a vision for the instrument that few can match.

Considering this is the first time they’ve worked together, it’s exhilarating to hear such supreme talent find common ground on Excursions and Adventures. Together, they tackle originals, like Patitucci’s NOLA-inspired “Messiaen’s Gumbo,” Carrington’s “Samsara,” an ode to Shorter, which previously appeared on her acclaimed Jazz Is a Spirit album, and Ray’s “Yo 11,” which is as enjoyably rhythmic as it is melodic. There are a few pop covers to note, as well, including Billy Preston’s “Nothing from Nothing,” and the Stones’ rocker “Paint It Black,” both of which show remarkable and unpredictable invention.

Like the most accomplished musicians, Ray, Patitucci, and Carrington bring out the best in each other, pushing into unpredictable areas, filling the spaces with constant surprises, and gifting the listener with the bounty of that creation. It is exhilarating, another of Whaling City Sound’s brilliant jazz releases, and a very good reason for fans of the longstanding piano-based trio tradition to get excited again. (Bob Gulla)

Tim Ray, piano
Terri Lyne Carrington, drums
John Patitucci, bass

Tim Ray
Perhaps best known as long-time pianist for Lyle Lovett, Tim Ray’s wide-ranging skills as a soloist and accompanist have afforded him the opportunity to perform with legendary performers from all walks of music. Appearing on over 70 recordings to date, Ray has performed in concert with an extensive list of pop music icons, notably Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Jane Siberry, and Soul Asylum. He regularly performs with leading figures in the jazz world, among them Gary Burton, Esperanza Spalding, Dave Douglas, and Brian Blade, and his classical credits include solo performances and concerts with Gunther Schuller, the Boston Pops, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.

"I think my goal as a teacher is to find that special thing—whether it's an exercise, a concept, or just something for them to listen to—that kind of flips the switch. I think for me that's the biggest reward, getting to know students and then finding that one or two things to really advance them as players. That's the improvisational part of teaching, finding those tools that enable me to better communicate with students and then enable students to improve themselves."

"I consider myself a full-time performer. I think that's a lot of what informs my teaching, things I've learned either on the road or playing gigs locally. I've always been primarily a jazz pianist, and that's certainly what I enjoy doing the most. But I've also played with the singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett. I got connected to him through other musicians, and after subbing for a few years I ended up doing that full time. I was on the road all the time, and that was a great experience. I certainly learned a lot. I also got involved with some other singer-songwriters—Jane Siberry, Victoria Williams—and some rock groups."

"One of the things I try to communicate to my students is the idea that when you're in school, you try to absorb as much as you can in terms of music and styles and just open yourself up to as broad a spectrum as you can. Because you never know when an opportunity will come along that's going to take your career in a different direction. That's what happened to me. When I was in college, I thought, 'I'll just be a jazz piano player,' and then all these other things came up. The next thing I know, I'm doing all these great things, traveling all over the world, playing with all these incredible musicians, but not necessarily playing jazz all the time. So I try to open myself up to all these different opportunities."

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