Ross Tompkins

Live at Concord (1977)

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From the summer of 1977 (one year before his death), this was violinist Joe Venuti's final recording session. Pianist/leader Ross Tompkins, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Jake Hanna first interpret "Softly As In a Morning Sunrise" and then welcome tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton (then 23) for a warm version of "I Got It Bad." Soon, Venuti makes the group a quintet, and they romp on a lively rendition of "I Want to Be Happy." After a few more standards, Venuti and Ray Brown duet on "Dark Eyes," a great vehicle for the classic violinist to end his career. Recommended.