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Michele Ramo: Oh Lady Be Good (2006)

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Michele Ramo: Oh Lady Be Good How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

With a swinging program that recalls the spirit of Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt, this contemporary trio of veteran jazzmen delivers straight from the heart. The cohesive program jumps in a lively fashion as the acoustic group delves into material steeped in tradition and mellowed with age.

Up-tempo romps like "Have You Met Miss Jones" and "Oh Lady Be Good" find the trio pulling out all the stops in a celebration of syncopation, swing and sunshine. Slower pieces, like "Autumn Nocturne" and "Nuages," allow the trioâ????s lyrical melodies to flow gently and settle in comfortably as each artist reaches back for inspiration. This music flows like a meandering country stream through a meadow of colorful wildflowers.

All three gentlemen display a deep respect for melody. Violinist Michele Ramo leads with a superb touch, garnering every ounce of flavor from each piece. His version of "Stardust" brings tears to the eyes. Guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli steps forward with lucid solo spots that belie a sincere love for these classic songs, while Jerry Bruno provides a strong bottom foundation. His lovely bass solo on "Have You Met Miss Jones" dances around the familiar melody with a resonance that evokes heartfelt spirit.

Ramo applies a variety of techniques in his portrayal, employing seamless, flowing legato when desired and jumping off with a sprightly pizzicato when the mood calls for it. He interprets the music with the emotional strength of gypsy soul and American swing, combined with the universal appeal of song. The ballad is putty in his hands.

Oh Lady Be Good represents a deep love for the essence that can only be found in beautiful songs. It takes two to tango. One side writes the songs, and the other side interprets them with love. The songs of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Burton Lane, Johnny Mandel, Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli do a special dance when performed by Michele Ramo, Bucky Pizzarelli and Jerry Bruno.

Track Listing: Oh Lady Be Good; Autumn Nocturne; Crazy Rhythm; Everything I Have is Yours; Have You Met Miss Jones; They Cant Take That Away From Me; Nuages; Stardust; Tears; Mlodie au Crpuscule; A Time for Love.

Personnel: Michele Ramo: violin; Bucky Pizzarelli: guitar; Jerry Bruno: bass.

Record Label: Moonboat Records

Style: Dixieland/New Orleans/Swing


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