Monday, February 2, 2015

Pete Eye and Tommy Ruskin

Plastic Sax bought the LP at a used record store and loaned it to me. That was, maybe, four years ago. I haven’t returned it. I knew I had it.

When Tommy Ruskin passed away last month, some fans bemoaned the lack of his performances available online to hear. But I knew I had this extraordinary and obscure album, of the Pete Eye Trio recorded in 1978, with Pete Eye on Steinway piano and Fender Rhoades, Bob Branstetter on bass, and Tommy Ruskin on drums. Everyone has an opportunity to stretch. Everyone has a chance to display his musical brilliance.

So I have digitized the album and have uploaded the songs, barring complaints, to YouTube. The uploads are embedded below. Yes, you’ll hear the crackles worn into a 33-1/3 album first played 37 years ago. But you’ll also hear affirmation that that over the decades Kansas City has consistently been home to some of the greatest musicians playing jazz. I suspect most people who stumble across these songs will have never heard this trio and will be amazed at how spectacular they sound.

But do one favor for me. Don’t tell Plastic Sax I still have his album. I’m hoping after four years he’s forgotten about it so I don’t have to give it back.

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Comments are welcome. If you prefer, you can reach me directly at kcjazzlark(at)gmail(dot)com.