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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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MARTY GROSZ AND HIS HOT COMBINATION

Arbors Jazz ARCD 19319

 

 

 
1. Alabamy Home
2. Did I Remember?
3. If It Ain't Love
4. You
5. What'll I Do?
6. Don't Let It Bother You
7. I'd Rather Be With You
8. Murder In The Moonlight
9. Four or Five Times
10 Life Begins When You're In Love
11. Spoken Introduction to "Just A Gigolo"
12. Just A Gigolo
13. Spoken Introduction to "English Blues"
14. English Blues

Marty Grosz - Guitar, vocals
Jon-Erik Kellso – Trumpet
Ken Peplowski - Clarinet, tenor sax
Scott Robinson - Baritone sax, C-Melody sax, cornet
James Dapogny - Piano, cornet
Vince Giordano - Bass, bass sax
Greg Cohen – Bass
Arnie Kinsella - Drums, orchestral bells

Having attended several of the Swinging Jazz Parties at Blackpool, I was sad to learn that these events had to be discontinued because of the organiser’s illness. One reason for my sadness was that the closure meant I would get fewer opportunities to see the wondrous Marty Grosz, one of the Blackpool regulars. Marty is not only the son of German cartoonist George Grosz but he’s also a unique jazz entertainer: playing guitar, singing and telling humorous stories.

As this album shows, he is also dedicated to performing neglected songs, mostly from the twenties and thirties. You may know a song like Did I Remember? from the recording by Billie Holiday and Don’t Let It Bother You as sung by Fats Waller (one of Marty’s idols) but you may never have heard such numbers as I’d Rather Be With You (co-written by Elsa Maxwell) or Murder in the Moonlight ("Cupid has found us guilty of love in the first degree").

Marty Grosz surrounds himself with excellent musicians, notably the fine trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso, the extremely versatile Scott Robinson and brilliant reedman Ken Peplowski (Marty’s collaborator in many loony shenanigans). Marty is no slouch either: singing with enthusiasm, skilfully strumming the guitar, and introducing some songs with shaggy-dog stories which are as erudite as they are ironical.

Marty Grosz is a one-off. But don’t be misled by his role as a comic raconteur: he is also a fine jazzman, dedicated to good music.


Tony Augarde

 



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