115

Pizzarelli/Moore/Frigo/Alden: Hot Club of 52nd Street

By

Sign in to view read count
Pizzarelli/Moore/Frigo/Alden: Hot Club of 52nd Street Conceived by label owner David Chesky as a followup to last season's Four Generations of Miles , this project features four musicians who embody the spirit of post-war swing music but also play with equal skill and enthusiasm in the bebop genre. Chesky did not want to make this into a Django Reinhardt nostalgia piece replete with transcribed solos, etc.

As the session unfolds, there is a natural affinity towards the Reinhardt-Grappelli Hot Club with similar instrumentation and tunes that resemble the gypsy guitarist's repetoire. The musicians themselves represent several shades of Django. Since the early 1950s, Bucky Pizzarelli has become the very definition of the respected studio master guitarist, in addition to having a prolific solo career. Howard Alden, the youngest in the group, has been a New York mainstay for the past twenty years and is comfortable playing the music of George Van Eps or Thelonious Monk. It was Alden who provided the guitar solos heard in the Woody Allen film Sweet and Lowdown , a 1930s period piece in which Sean Penn sought the whereabouts of Django Reinhardt. Johnny Frigo, the Chicago violinist, is now in his late 80s and originated the group Soft Winds in the late 1940s with Herb Ellis. Of the current jazz violinists, Frigo is the perfect choice to fit the Stephane Grappelli role for this session. Bassist Michael Moore, a frequent recording partner of Howard Alden, is also right at home. I saw Moore perform in duet with guitarist Gene Bertoncini in the late 1970s.

It should be no surprise to anyone that everything clicks musically here. The nine tracks of standards, plus Reinhardt's signature piece "Nuages," are comfortably performed with great charm and passion. "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" at mid-tempo is a toe-tapper and "Tangerine" is done with infectious rhythm. I cannot distinguish between the two plectrists save to say that most of the time one guitar would be playing rhythm against the other's single-string solo, and other times when they are trading off against each other. However, it should be noted that, as a real distraction, this live performance, taped at A.C. Pianocraft Recital Hall in New York in July, 2003, does not have a good balance between the music and the audience applause, which is miked appreciably louder than necessary.


Track Listing: Rosetta, On The Sunny Side Of The Street, Tangerine, Nuages, Strike Up The Band, Some Of These Days, Avalon, Melancholy Baby, I've Got Rhythm.

Personnel: Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, guitars; Johnny Frigo,violin; Michael Moore,bass.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Chesky Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "The Music of Enrico Pieranunzi" CD/LP/Track Review The Music of Enrico Pieranunzi
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 23, 2016
Read "Three Octaves Above The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Three Octaves Above The Sun
by James Nadal
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "So Far So Close" CD/LP/Track Review So Far So Close
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 22, 2016
Read "Pathways" CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by James Nadal
Published: February 29, 2016
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 10, 2016
Read "Hecho En Puerto Rico" CD/LP/Track Review Hecho En Puerto Rico
by James Nadal
Published: June 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!