Hot Club of Hulaville violinist Duane Padilla echos the golden age of Stephane 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.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.