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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



Got Swing!
Erich Kunzel Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
Manhattan transfer
John Pizzarelli
Janis Siegal
Telarc CD-80592


Recorded at Cincinnati Music Hall, April 19 & 20 2002

  1. String of Pearls
  2. Stompiní At The Savoy
  3. Choo Choo ChíBoogie (Manhattan Transfer)
  4. Straighten Up and Fly Right (John Pizzarelli)
  5. Sugar (That Sugar Baby O Mine)
  6. Skyliner (Manhattan Transfer)
  7. Blues in the Night
  8. Avalon (John Pizzarelli)
  9. It Donít Mean a Thing If It Donít Have That Swing
  10. Clouds, adapted from Nuages ( Manhattan Transfer)
  11. Jumpiní at the Woodside
  12. Flying Home
  13. Iíll Be Seeing You (Janis Siegal)
  14. Sweet, Georgia Brown.

It is something to do with the training of classical musicians, that whenever you put some Ďjazzersí in a classical orchestra, the musicianship is, as you would expect of the highest degree, but somehow it doesnít swing no matter how good the soloists are. If you donít believe this listen to the last track! This CD is no exception to that rule even Mantraní with their own rhythm section canít make it happen. John Pizzarelli fares quite a lot better, but thatís because he gets Nat Cole style, very light strings and a sympathetic rhythm section. John is a very pleasant singer and an excellent guitar player.

The best tracks are Straighten Up and Fly Right and Avalon from John Pizzarelli and Sugar and Skyliner from Mantran. There is also fine solo work from Rick Van Matre on tenor and clarinet, Antonio Hart on alto, Vincent Di Martino on trumpet and Jim Pugh on trombone throughout. It was nice to hear the verse from Iíll Be Seeing You from Janis Siegal, you donít hear it sung very often. which is a pity because it is an important part of the song

As referred to earlier, itís when the whole ensemble starts playing together that the classical/jazz divide starts to show. It may be also true from the other side, that the people who prefer classical music may prefer these performances to those of a jazz orchestra. Letís be very clear that the standard of musical performance throughout is first class, but as ĎFatí Waller said, " If You Has To Ask What Swing Is, You Ainít Got It"

Don Mather


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