Duane Padilla: Sentimental Swing (2011)
Hot Club of Hulaville violinist Duane Padilla echos the golden age of Stéphane Grappelli, by way of Joe Venuti. Sentimental Swing presents nothing new and breaks no revolutionary jazz ground, being made up of ten well-worn jazz standards, presented in a violin-piano-bass trio format. Was all this necessary? Perhaps not, but Padilla does put a pleasant retro spin on some old classics, showing why it is important to recall the past when considering the present.
Padilla opens the disc with an attention-grabbing "How High The Moon," composed by Nancy Hamilton and Morgan Lewis for the 1940 Broadway show Two for the Show, which has served as an important jazz standard in its own right and as a springboard for Charlie Parker's re-composition in "Ornithology."
Padilla plays the song straight, introducing the melody at half-time before gaining swing traction into the familiar foxtrot. Padilla and pianist Tennyson Stephens spar during the theme before carrying the contest to a higher level of invention in the solo sections. Contemporaneous soloing by these two players recalls the same Dixieland practice with more sophisticated material.
Personnel: Duane Padilla: violin; Tennyson Stephens: piano; Stephen Jones: bass.
Record Label: Self Produced