Joe Kennedy, Jr.

Magnifique!

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It seems strange that Joe Kennedy never became too well known, for swing violinists have always been at a premium. Kennedy's obscurity is partly due to him having split his career between jazz and classical music. As a leader he recorded four titles in 1946, a long-forgotten album for the tiny Red Anchor label in 1962 and this LP for the French Black and Blue company 18 years later. Supported by pianist Hank Jones, bassist Major Holley and drummer Oliver Jackson, Kennedy (56 at the time) is heard throughout in prime form, performing seven mostly modern standards plus his own "The Major" and Jackson's "Wind Blown Blues." Highlights include the violinist's reworkings of "On Green Dolphin Street," "My Romance," "Shiny Stockings" and the Sonny Rollins jazz waltz, "Valse Hot." Well worth searching for.