Last year Doug Raney died. I never got to write that obituary that I thought I would. Seems I don't like writing them. But there's no doubt that I have been a huge Doug Raney fan for many years. He is one of the few players whose recordings I like ALL. I mean, all his albums are at least very good if not totally great. His oeuvre is so consistent that there are simply no bad Doug Raney albums. I even like all of his recordings as a sideman (not to mention the fantastic duo albums with his father). In total Doug has recorded close to 30 records and has truly established his voice as one of the best of the modern bop guitarists in the tradition — no small feat given his illustrious father’s achievements on the same instrument.
His debut album from 1977 "Introducing Doug Raney" was already great (listen here) but the album that I rank among the very best DR albums is his 1996 "Back in New York" recording. The first track is a stellar rendition of "I'm Old Fashioned" that makes the album an instant Doug Raney classic. Let me quote once again:
Accompanied by pianist Michael Weiss, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Kenny Washington, the quartet's head arrangements of the seven standards on the CD seem to come together effortlessly. The intimate approach to "Skylark" starts slowly, but gives way to a brisk, more complex development of its theme. The rhythm section swirls behind Raney in a driving rendition of "All or Nothing at All," and also features a fine solo by Weiss. Of particular interest is Raney's careful development of "I'm Old Fashioned." Highly recommended. -by Ken Dryden ”This, my friends, is what a desert island album sounds like.