John Colianni

John Colianni & Company

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Best known for his associations with Mel Torme and Lionel Hampton, pianist John Colianni is a superior swing-based pianist whose style is open to more modern influences without losing its personality. On this lesser-known but exciting release, Colianni is sometimes a little overshadowed by the talented (if obscure) Joe Midiri, who plays clarinet and alto in the tradition of the best swing stylists (including Johnny Hodges and Louis Jordan); also in the quintet are guitarist Karl Schloz, bassist Wayne Roberts and drummer Joe Ascione. Kelly Bell and Midiri contribute a few good-time vocals, and it is Midiri who provides one of the highlights with an uncanny vocal imitation of Louis Armstrong on "On the Alamo." Other highlights include "Indian Summer," "Caledonia," and "7 Come 11," but all 15 selections are quite fun and enjoyable. Hot mainstream jazz.

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