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

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Blue Too

Arbors Jazz ARCD 19355




1. I Want to Be Happy
2. Cocktails for Two
3. Little White Lies
4. Raggin´ The Scale
5. Blue Too
6. You
7. Don´t Be That Way
8. Diga Diga Doo
9. I Guess I´ll Have to Change My Plan
10. You Do Something to Me
11. Melancholy Lullaby
12. The Blue Room
13. I Wrote It for Jo
14. As Long As I´m Singing

Aaron Weinstein - Violin
John Pizzarelli - Guitar, vocals (track 7)

Violin and guitar? Does that immediately remind you of Stephane Grappelli & Django Reinhardt? Well, Aaron Weinstein's violin frequently resembles Grappelli's in fluency and sweetness, although he can also be as naughtily abrasive or wayward as Stuff Smith. And John Pizzarelli often chugs away on guitar to keep the rhythm flowing, just as Django used to. But John also throws in lots of other adventurous accompanying touches. If there is a resemblance with another famous violin/guitar duo, it is with Joe Venuti & Eddie Lang. In fact Weinstein and Pizzarelli include in their programme Raggin' the Scale, which was a Venuti/Lang speciality.

The two musicians work together superbly, helped by the fact that they are both virtuosi on their instruments. Weinstein can do a nice line in pizzicato, as you'll hear right at the start of the album, where he plucks the melody of I Want to Be Happy before moving into a swirling bowed solo. Then the two men combine in a hair-raisingly brisk unison variation on the theme.

Most of the tunes come from the Great American Songbook, although they include some unhackneyed choices, like Benny Carter's Melancholy Lullaby, Bobby Darin's As Long as I'm Singing and I Wrote It for Jo (composed by guitarist George Van Eps). Pizzarelli adds one of his engaging vocals to Don't Be That Way.

I won't single out any other tracks, since the standard of playing is consistently high. This is not only inventive music - it is happy music, and it will make you feel happy if you get this CD.

Tony Augarde






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