How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Bounce, tap, stomp, slap, wiggle, giggle, snap—whatever it is you do when you hear music that makes you move, it will happen when you’ve got Skitch Henderson: Swinging With Strings in the CD player. Backed by a small yet potent army of violinists and Arbors regulars, the album is a great collection of catchy new tunes and some very familiar classics. “Blue Moon,” ”My Gal Sal,” and “C-Jam Blues” are some of the more recognizable classics for the beginning enthusiast. The use of ‘Violin Jazz’ is something new to me, and is a very interesting aspect of the album. Mr. Henderson, who was the very firstTonight Showorchestra leader with Steve Allen, and later with Johnny Carson, shows a continued ability to please with what can be described as a gentle powerhouse of jazz. The familiar call-and-response between the vibraphone and piano, and the violins to each other makes for a fantastic listening experience as they chase each other through the album, always landing right where they are supposed to be. The liner notes are very well designed, giving you the ability to appreciate each string player’s handiwork by listing their solos for each cut. Of course, the always-supple piano stylings of the lead man are alone worth the price of admission. A great disc!
Track Listing: The Japanese Sandman; My Gal Sal; Volga Boatman; Sophisticated Lady; Blue Moon; Oh, Lady, Be Good!; Lover Man; Easy Living; Goody, Goody; C-Jam Blues, If I Had You; In a Mellow Tone; The Hour of Parting; If There is Someone Lovelier Than You; I Could Have Danced All Night; When the Blue of the Night Meets the Gold of the Day
Personnel: Skitch Henderson-Piano; Peter Appleyard-Vibraphone; Bucky Pizzarelli-Guitar; Gene Bertoncini-Guitar (except 13 and 16); Nikki Parrott-Bass; Joe Ascione-Drums; Matt Glaser-Violin; Darol Anger-Violin; Sara Caswell-Violin; Glenn Basham-Violin