Bucky Pizzarelli

Manhattan Swing: A Visit With the Duke

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The guitar/piano/bass trio of Bucky Pizzarelli, John Bunch, and Jay Leonhart, who have also recorded together under the group name of New York Swing, have a grand time with this collection of favorites from the Duke Ellington songbook. The interplay between them as well as their solos are never less than first rate, especially on an unusually brisk take of "I'm Beginning to See the Light," a foot-tapping "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" that has the flavor of western swing, and a bluesy "All Too Soon." But the trio really come into their own on the slow ballads, with a romantic "Passion Flower" and a shimmering "Isfahan." Jay Leonhart's liner notes are entertaining anecdotes, even if the time frame given for his one opportunity to sit in with Ellington is off by at least 15 years.

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