Check out the Review of this CD in the current issue of Jazz Improv Magazine!
The Sam Crain Trio
With bassist Gene Haas and drummer Brian Justison, guitarist Sam Crain debuted this swinging session in 1997. The album includes 'Have You Met Miss Jones', 'Someone to Watch Over Me', 'I Love You', 'Moonlight in Vermont' and other straight-ahead favorites.
A lyrical guitarist who phrases seamlessly, Crain makes a ballad come to life. 'Darn that Dream' settles in peacefully with sonorous harmony and expressive improvised work. 'Bluesette', taken in a fast-paced waltz time, flows blissfully with tender persuasion. Crain's guitar utters its refrains with vocal-like passion and a built-in swing attitude.
Up-tempo romps, such as 'Tenor Madness', swing hard with the trio's cohesive interplay. Walking bass and ride cymbal provide a plausible foundation for the guitar's crisp and clear bebop drives. He's at his best on the album's three lone originals, pouring forth with lyrical charm and a loving caress. They're solo pieces, however, and provide a different slant on the guitarist's work. Recommended, Sam Crain's mainstream session offers a fully relaxed setting for the display of his virtuosic technique and swinging expression.
- Jim Santella
LA Jazz Scene Feb. '05
Here is a midwest guitarist whose trio shines on a group of standards like One Note Samba, Bluesette, Have You Met Miss Jones and even Sonny Rollins' Tenor Madness. Add three originals to the mix and you have a nicely balanced album with Mr Crain in fine form.
- George Fendel
Jazz Scene, Portland Oregon
There is nothing more soothing than the sound of a full-bodied guitar. Crain teams up with Gene Haas on bass and drummer Brian Justison for 14 tracks. Sam's warm sound reinforces this idea moving through Latin tunes like One Note Samba, jazz standards like Bluesette and burners like Tenor Madmess. The trio provides good entertainment.
- Oscar Groomes
O's Place Jazz Newsletter
PO Box 2437
Naperville, IL 60567-2437
SAM CRAIN is a jazz guitarist and composer from Springfield, Illinois, with 19 other CDs to his credit-all available here on CD Baby. His playing is very much steeped in the tradition of straight-ahead jazz(with a strong bebop streak), but also contains elements of R & B and other styles, with a lyrical edge all his own- imagine perhaps George-Benson-meets-Robert-Cray, or along that line..
THE SAM CRAIN TRIO, though not his first recording, is Sam's maiden CD. At this juncture, he'd just finished a 3-year stint with the central Illinois-based Frank Trompeter Quintet, the highlight of which was playing in Japan at the Ashikaga Jazz Festival and was branching out with his own groups. Originally this recording was just meant to be a sort of self-demo, to hear back some of the material Sam was working on, but decided later to give it a try out in the 'open market'.
Fortunately it's done fine on the 'open market'.People have bought and enjoyed this recording, both at live gigs and online- even including a few folks in France, England, Ireland, Hong Kong, Australia, Spain, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, Italy, Sweden ,Kuwait, Singapore and Belarus(thru CD Baby), and it has gotten airplay on WTIP Grand Marais, MN; and KVLU Lamar State Univ in Beaumont TX.
Along with Bird's-Eye View and Jazz Guitar Vol 2, The Sam Crain Trio has been my best-selling CD on CD Baby!
LAST CD SOLD: 10/08/11 thank you Maryland!
FUN FACTS ABOUT THIS RECORDING:
Produced by Sam Crain
Recorded and Mastered by Michael Taylor
Duplication by Eastern Standard Productions Inc,Buffalo NY
Artwork and layout by Phoebe Timan
Cover photography by Ed Clark
Recorded July 24 and August 22, 1997, Lincolnland Community College, Spfld IL; and September 4, 1997 at Taylor Music, Pawnee IL
GENE HAAS is retired after 30 years of teaching at Lincolnland Community College and New Berlin High School. He's still active conducting the Springfield Municipal Band, and as bassist with the Riverboat 5+1 and the Jane Hartman Trio(Jane and Sam were both his students), and plays poker at Sam's house most every Wednesday evening.
BRIAN JUSTISON is Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Percussion Studies at Millikin University,Decatur Illinois, performs with the Jane Hartman Trio and Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and plays poker at Sam's house when he has a free Wednesday evening.