But Beautiful

Jimmy Raney

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But Beautiful Review

by Ken Dryden

Guitarist Jimmy Raney's final recording as a leader is a mellow affair, covering a number of favorite ballads. Joined by bassist George Mraz and drummer Lewis Nash (who frequently plays brushes), both of whom were members of Tommy Flanagan's trio at the time, Raney's interpretations are lyrical and intricate, developing long lines and inspiring great interplay among the musicians. Obvious highlights include "Someone to Watch over Me" (which begins with a dazzling unaccompanied introduction) and the brisk rendition of "The Way You Look Tonight." The guitarist's composition "Elegy for Ray Parker," a mellow ballad, serves as a memorial to a painter friend, while "Blues Cycle" was evidently conceived with Mraz during the date and serves as a perfect close to Jimmy Raney's distinguished career.

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