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

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Last Train Home

Challenge CR 73273




1. Last Train Home
2. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
3. Pools
4. If I Could
5. Azalea
6. Ask Me Now
7. Angela's Sad Song
8. Reckless Blues
9. Spring Ain't Here
10. You Must Believe in Spring
11. Angela
12. Alone Together
13. Regrets
14. I Didn't Know What Time it Was
15. Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?

Davy Mooney - Vocals, guitar
John Pizzarelli - Guitar

An invitation to record with a major jazz guitar player like John Pizzarelli is the sort of endorsement that any young jazz musician would love to have. Davy Mooney got his as a result of John hearing him at a Thelonious Monk International Jazz Guitar Competition. Davy is not however an overnight "wunderkind", he has developed his excellent skills through many years of study with the best tutors in the best universities.  There is a moral here. There is a line of thought that says you can't teach people to play jazz; to a degree it may be true, but I am sure that Davy's studies have developed him into the mature player that he is already. He is now returning the favour and teaching graduates in his home city of New Orleans.

The music selected for the album sustains the listener's interest, because it is a mixture of a few standards, some lesser-known tunes and a few original compositions. John is always sympathetic in his accompaniment of the young man, just as he is to the other soloists in his band, something I noticed from the first time I heard them. Azalea is a lesser-known Duke Ellington tune that is worthy of more exposure, and Davy uses his pleasant voice to add the words. Davy and John take turns to solo and to back one another throughout the album and obviously developed the rapport that is easy to hear in their work.

It may be just me, but the problem I have with all Pat Metheny compositions is that I think they lack a decent tune. I never heard anybody whistling one of his tunes! The two on this album have the same problem; they are good improvisational vehicles, but no tune. Thankfully this could never be levelled at Michel Legrand or Antonio Carlos Jobim whose compositions follow. Alone Together has always been a favoured jazz vehicle and neither of our guitarists fail to make the most of it.

The last two tracks are my favourites: great tunes beautifully played by two masters of the instrument.

This is a very pleasing CD that to my mind lacks only one thing: two great musicians enjoying playing together, but without any competitive edge. Sometimes the thing that sparks any album of two people, who play the same instrument, is an attempt to blow one another away. Not all the time, but every so often. Perhaps they are just too polite!


Don Mather

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