Hot Club of 52nd Street

Chesky Live Sessions

Chesky Records JD271

Bucky Pizzarelli, acoustic guitar; Michael Moore, bass; Johnny Frigo, violin; Howard Alden, acoustic guitar

Start with four excellent musicians, add the heightened edge of a live audience, stir in the ethereal threads of gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, and we are ready. This group, spanning four generations, acoustically pluck and saw their way through some compelling tunes, such as "Rosetta", "On the Sunny Side of the Street" and "Tangerine". Their individual artistry is sweetly romantic, luscious, uplifting; the two guitarist set fire to the atmosphere with inventiveness and pace. Johnny Vigo's sweet violin is not left behind, and Michael Moore's bass has every note well placed. Through "Strike Up the Band" and "Some of These Days", they swing melodically, and there's a fine romp with "Avalon"; Johnny Frigo leads us into a wistful, questioning, "Melancholy Baby", and to finish is an upbeat "I've Got Rhythm". They are their own men, and offer only the spirit of Reinhardt. At the end of the last track, the crowd noises were allowed to linger for a while, it added flavor and is a clever touch. If you like the Django tradition, this is for your rack.

by Ferdinand Maylin

Jazz Now Interactive November 2004 Vol 14 No. 7 - Table of Contents

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