Joel Helleny

Lip Service

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Although he works steadily in the New York area, trombonist Joel Helleny is not as well-known as one would expect from the talent he shows on this CD (released in 1997). With the assistance of a quietly supportive rhythm section comprised of pianist Richard Wyands, guitarist Ray Macchiarola, bassist Murray Wall and drummer Leroy Williams, Helleny combines bop and swing in his playing, displaying a warm tone and a thoughtful improvising style. Other than guest trombonist Dan Barrett's appearance on "The Andy Griffith Theme," Helleny is the dominant voice throughout. He may not be an innovator, but his lyrical style is quite likable, and his repertoire includes a few superior obscurities (such as Ronnell Bright's "Sweet Pumpkin" and Manny Albam's "Lullaby of Jazzland") in addition to such veteran standards as "Star Dust," "The Masquerade Is Over" and "Crazy, He Calls Me." Fine music.

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