Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

207

Jim Caruso: The Swing Set

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
This disc is 250,000 pounds-per-square-inch cabaret music rendered with a loving and exacting hand by a coy master. Singer Jim Caruso does not take himself seriously while doing exactly that, and it is this quality that makes The Swing Set so much entertaining fun. Caruso's repertoire is not dusty standards, sanded to nothingness; instead, he chooses less-heard gems performed in the style of the '20s and '30s. Add to this perfect engineering and a crackerjack band, and Caruso delivers a completely entertaining experience.

Caruso opens his recital with a bright and smiling take on the 1935 Ted Koehler/Jimmy McHugh Alice Faye vehicle, "I've Got My Fingers Crossed." He shares this glee with Michael Feinstein on the mid-'40s June Barton hit "It's Got To Be This or That," propelled by the full the strength of Caruso's little big band. Harry Allen proves why he is the Frank Sinatra of the tenor saxophone in his solo—Caruso may be his perfect musical foil.

Perhaps the most "standard" of Caruso's selection is the Arlen/Yarberg classic, "If I Only Had a Brain," which Caruso slays with guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli and cornetist Warren Vache. This is, perhaps, the finest performance of this true American chestnut. Caruso sings this ballad with such sweetness and grace that it would be hard to imagine him bettering himself, but he does on "Pick Yourself Up," which he sings full of sunshine and glee. In lesser hands, the music on The Swing Set would be pure camp. Caruso saves the recital from this with a fun, confident sense of humor and certain knowledge of his material.

Track Listing: I've Got My Fingers Crossed; I Love A Violin; Manhattan; Gotta Be This Or That; I'm So Happy; If I Only Had A Brain; I'm Shootin' High; The Doodlin' Song; Pick Yourself Up; Flexible; Just Squeeze Me; Heart's Desire.

Personnel: Jim Caruso: vocals; Aaron Weinstein: violin, music director, arranger; Bucky Pizzarelli: guitar; Warren Vache: cornet; Harry Allen: tenor saxophone; Tedd Firth: piano; Steve Doyle: bass; John Burr: bass; Warren Odes: drums; Kristy Norter: saxophones; Dave Trigg: trumpet; Ross Konkoff: trumpet.

Title: The Swing Set | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Yellow Sound Label

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Bound CD/LP/Track Review Not Bound
by Don Phipps
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "I Speilvendthet" CD/LP/Track Review I Speilvendthet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "The Romeo and Juliet Project" CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "g a b b r o" CD/LP/Track Review g a b b r o
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 5, 2017
Read "Just Friends" CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 11, 2017
Read "Second Stream" CD/LP/Track Review Second Stream
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Overseas V" CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 30, 2017