Listeners entertained by the Buddy DeFranco/Dave McKenna Concord recordings, You Must Believe in Swing (1997) and Do Nothing Till You Hear From Us! (1999), will be delighted with John Cipolla and Doc Livingston's Misbehavin'. Cipolla is the erstwhile leader on this duet recital with pianist/clarinetist Doc Livingston at Bowling Green's Western Kentucky University, where Cipolla is an assistant professor of music.
The recital is made up of twelve standards, all from the earlier part of the 20th Century. To his credit pianist Livingston goes easy on the stride piano, instead opting for a more middle-of-the-road approach in supporting Cipolla's playing. Livingston is gracious and empathic with Cipolla, revealing an ongoing simpatico the two have enjoyed for several years. The recital is the type of mainstream jazz performance that is well-behaved (regardless of the title). Disc highlights include the opening, "Moon Ray, "Willow Weep for Me, and "You'd be So Nice to Come Home To. The principles provide an easy swing, with an effortless momentum coming from the comfort of the performers.
While these previously mentioned songs are considered highlights, the top of the heap belongs to the disc's two final pieces, "Lady Be Good and a reprise of "Ain't Misbehavin', both performed by Cipolla and Livingston playing clarinet. These songs could just as easily been performed for a classical audience as a winds duet. Some recordings simply have nothing wrong with them. This is one.
Track Listing: Moon Ray; On The Sunny Side Of The Street; Willow Weep For Me; It Dont Mean A Thing; Body And Soul; Blackstick; On A Clear Day; Deep Purple; Youd Be So Nice To Come Home To; Comes Love; Lady Be Good; Aint Misbehavin.
Personnel: John Cipolla: clarinet; Doc Livingston: piano, clarinet.