Cut Four

Cut for Jazz

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What an unusual concept: a quartet of Italian vocalists singing jazz standards in the style of Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross. Somehow it works, and works well -- thanks to immaculate musicianship, strong arrangements, some original, pithy lyrics, and the backing of a fine jazz quintet (of instrumentalists). Most of the tunes are easily recognizable, such as Cole Porter's "Love for Sale" or Bird's "Au Privave." But these fellows make the tunes their own, with clever takes and fine scatting. Luca Lapenna's words for Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" and "Lazy Bird," as well as Horace Silver's "Summer of Central Park," are surprisingly sophisticated. The songs are sung in English (except for Roberto Cipelli's "To M," with lyrics by Lapenna), and part of the charm is the ever-so-slight Italian accents.

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