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Don Stiernberg: About Time

Jim Santella By

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Don Stiernberg: About Time Classic jazz in the Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli tradition serve to launch new record label Blue Night Records with positive vibrations. Jazz mandolinist Don Stiernberg proves to be the perfect choice, taking an all-acoustic lineup through tried and true standards and making it perfectly clear that these melodies never lose their shine. Samples from six tracks are available at http://www.bluenightrecords.com .

Stiernberg’s lead mandolin voice flows gently and easily. It’s the kind of acoustic session one could listen to all day and never become distracted or restless. Curt Morrison’s guitar interludes have a similar timbre and a lyrical feel to them. With walking stand-up bass, the pair revels in their ability to communicate well; whether backing each other up, stretching out, or trading fours. Guest artists appear for about half the session, adding another dimension. Russ Phillips stands in for "Falling in Love with Love" and "My Shining Hour," adding his brass-accurate trombone sound. Alejo Poveda adds congas and other intricate percussion sounds to several tracks; my favorite is his bongo accompaniment to "Fever." Steve Schneck’s sultry flugelhorn floats the melody of "But Beautiful," while Richie Fudoli’s rich and syrupy tenor saxophone graces "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" and "Perdido" appropriately, and Art Davis highlights "Indian Summer" (flugelhorn) and "That Old Feeling (muted trumpet). Stiernberg sings on two numbers in a relaxed Chet Baker style. Highly recommended, Blue Night Records’ first release is a huge success, representing the timeless nature of this music we call jazz.


Track Listing: Indian Summer; It Might As Well Be Spring; I

Personnel: Don Stiernberg- mandolin, rhythm guitar, vocals; Curt Morrison- acoustic guitar; Jim Cox- acoustic bass; Art Davis- flugelhorn, trumpet; Steve Schneck- flugelhorn; Richie Fudoli- tenor saxophone; Russ Phillips- trombone; Kevin Connelley- drums; Alejo Poveda- percussion.

Title: About Time | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Blue Night Records


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