Aaron Weinstein & John Pizzarelli – Blue Too (2007)

Aaron Weinstein & John Pizzarelli - Blue Too (2007)
Artist: Aaron Weinstein & John Pizzarelli
Album: Blue Too
Genre: Swing
Released: 2007
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

Tracklist:
01. I Want To Be Happy (3:08)
02. Cocktails For Two (4:21)
03. Little White Lies (6:52)
04. Raggin’ The Scale (2:46)
05. Blue Too (6:51)
06. You (3:52)
07. Don’t Be That Way (2:37)
08. Diga Diga Doo (3:05)
09. I Guess I’ll Have To Change My Plan (4:00)
10. You Do Something To Me (3:34)
11. Melancholy Lullaby (5:27)
12. Blue Room (3:18)
13. I Wrote It For Jo (3:13)
14. As Long As I’m Singing (2:16)

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The combination of jazz and guitar, whether in a group setting or duo, has frequently been associated with swing. This stretches back further than Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli to players like guitarist Eddie Lang and violist Joe Venuti in the 1920s; the tradition, however, also moves forward in time, including work by Stuff Smith with guitarist Herb Ellis in 1963 and numerous recordings by groups put together by Tony Rice and David Grisman beginning in the ’70s. Despite the long history, the guitar/fiddle combination is nonetheless a rare one in jazz, which makes the issue of Blue Too by guitarist John Pizzarelli and violinist Aaron Weinstein a real treat. As a duo recording, Pizzarelli and Weinstein have kept Blue Too’s arrangements simple and intimate. The material, both new and old, pays tribute to the swing tradition, allowing the duo to reach back to George Van Eps’ “I Wrote It for Joe,” make a stop at Cole Porter’s “You Do Something to Me,” and add to the tradition with the original title cut. While Pizzarelli and Weinstein occasionally indulge in lengthy jams, as with Walter Donaldson’s “Little White Lies” (nearly seven minutes), most of these pieces run between two and four minutes. The music and tradition may be familiar on Blue Too, but Pizzarelli and Weinstein’s lead work and innovative backing deliver it with imagination.
Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

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