Paradise Is Awfully Nice is a heartfelt tribute by arranger-trumpeter-flugelhornist Peter Welker to his recently deceased mother Elisabeth Welker, who was a singer in the swing era and a teacher at the Berklee College of Music. Even with some emotional moments (many of the musicians participating knew Elisabeth Welker), the music is mostly cheerful and swinging. The repertoire emphasizes standards and among the many soloists are tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts, mandolinist David Grisman (on "Chelsea Bridge"), trumpeter Herb Pomeroy, pianist Smith Dobson (on one of his last recordings), and guitarist Randy Vincent along with Welker. The arrangements are often exciting, there is plenty of variety in moods and tempos, and the overall results are memorable.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow
feat: Norton Buffalo