Al Caiola

Cleopatra and All That Jazz

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Al Caiola was primarily known for his work within the easy listening genre, though he also led a few jazz dates such as this early-'60s recording for United Artists. The guitarist is accompanied by some of the best jazz musicians who were on call for all kinds of studio work in the era: Dick Hyman, Clark Terry, Osie Johnson, Barry Galbraith (who sticks to rhythm guitar), Tony Studd, Phil Bodner, and George Duvivier. Caiola arranged all 12 songs; his solos are enjoyable, though Terry's brilliant flügelhorn tends to steal the show. Other than Terry, Caiola mainly uses the horns and reeds for background riffs, and badly underutilizes Hyman, so the charts lack the potential they could have achieved with the caliber of musicians present and music performed. Even with those reservations, this long unavailable LP is worth acquiring.

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