Tomás Ramírez (Austin Records)
Reviewed by Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., Feb. 11, 2011
Tomás Ramírez(Austin Records)
In 1983, when most of this material was initially released on an LP titled Thanks for the Goodbyes for local imprint Fable Records, saxophonist Tomás Ramírez was a prominent figure on the local scene, closely associated with musicians of all genres. Known as the Jazzmanian Devil (the album was issued under that name rather than Ramírez's), he gathered together the cream of the Austin jazz crop to fashion an of-the-moment sound that blended 1970s fusion and a nascent smooth jazz sensibility with a splash of Latin soul. It wasn't the most challenging music, but Ramírez's playing often shines through. The album received regional notice, and today, although sounding quite dated, it stands as a noteworthy document of that heady instant in time. Crisp sound and five previously unreleased tracks, including a sizzling guest spot by guitarist Eric Johnson on "SA Stroll" are a nice bonus.