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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove



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JOE ASCIONE QUARTET

Movin' Up!

Arbors Jazz ARCD19359

 

 

 
1. Movin' Up
2. So in Love
3. Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah's Got Rhythm
4. I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face/ Norwegian Wood
5. True Love
6. It Was a Very Good Year
7. Love Walked In
8. Summertime
9. The Touch of Your Lips
10. Get Out of Town
11. The Aba Daba Honeymoon
 

Joe Ascione - Drums, djembe drum, shakers

Allan Vache - Clarinet

John Cocuzzi - Piano, vibes, vocals

Frank Tate - Bass
 
Drummers leading bands can sometimes show off too much but Joe Ascione behaves modestly as leader on this album (although his sleeve-notes are less modest!). It is a good-natured session by a quartet which often sounds larger: John Cocuzzi's doubling on piano and vibes helps this impression. He even contributes a passable vocal to It Was a Very Good Year.
Most of the tunes are standards but the opening title-track is a bluesy original by Ascione, which lays out the style for the rest of the CD: easygoing mainstream swing without pretensions. This doesn't mean that there are no surprises. Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Got Rhythm is an arrangement by Ascione that blends two tunes together, with the stimulus of Joe's experienced brushwork. And I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face unexpectedly segues into the Beatles' Norwegian Wood as though the two tunes were always meant to be a pair (after all, they are both waltzes). Allan Vache's clarinet is particularly touching here, and Joe Cocuzzi's piano makes the transition seamless.

Cole Porter's True Love (from the film High Society) has a tasteful Latin-American beat, as does Summertime, whose rhythm is described in Joe's sleeve-notes as the Afro-Cuban nanigo. For contrast, The Aba Daba Honeymoon is performed with more than a hint of New Orleans rhythm. This is not an epoch-making album, nor does it do anything startling, but it makes 55 minutes of very agreeable listening.

Tony Augarde


 

 

 

 



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