Ron Affif

Ringside

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Recorded live before a hand-picked audience at Fantasy Records' Studio A, guitarist Affif blows through eight selections with Essiet Essiet on string bass and Colin Bailey on drums giving solid support. The opener, "If I Were a Bell," sets the tone of this performance, with Affif swapping solos with Essiet, and Bailey dropping bop-approved bombs in the background. Selections include several tunes written by the guitarist, including the bluesy "Don't Make Me Pull That Tongue Out," "Farewell," "Uncle Joe," and the set closer "Holly." On the standard side of things, Gershwin's "Love Walked In," "Alone Together," and Sammy Cahn's "I Should Care" complete the song lineup. The interplay between the three players is strong and empathetic (even without a rhythm instrument providing underpinning), making this album delightful listening all the way.

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