Jim Ridl Your Cheatin’ Heart
Jim Ridl on Yamaha Grand Piano
And Happyland Baby Piano
Ron Kerber on Soprano Sax
JD Walter on Vocals
Jim Miller on Drums
Jef Lee Johnson on Guitar/Mandolin
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 5, 2005
This is an originally arranged collection, created by a piano-plus quintet or sextet (2 tracks), with Ridl’s introspective solo composition, as well as one of Ellington’s signature works. The mood shifts quickly, from track to track, but always with the essence of Ridl’s unique arrangements and instrumental combinations.
#1 – Your Cheatin’ Heart – Composed by Hank Williams. With piano, bass, and drums, Ridl quickly progresses to an upbeat swing with a rapid, resonant keyboard attack, as only a pro could create. This well-known tune takes a wild ride with inside-out and interesting improvisation.
#2 – Grazed by Light: Solo Prelude – Composed by Jim Ridl. It’s so nice to hear a melancholy, meandering piano solo in this otherwise mix of six instruments, and Ridl shows tremendous compositional talent in this introspective work. The second half of Grazed by Light features the group.
#5 – Caravan – Composed by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Juan Tizol. With an extensive, abstract introduction, Caravan explodes with effervescence in a combination of sax, voice, mandolin, piano, baby piano, bass, and drums. This tune is kept intact, with extended piano solos, saxophone flourishes, and an eery and early bass.
#7 – ”Smile” Said the Drum – Composed by Jim Ridl. A tribute to the late drummer, Elvin Jones, Ridl creates a hot beat that later fades and fades, a disappearing drummer. Ridl worked on this piece for five years, and it will surely be heard often.