John Di Martino's Romantic Jazz Trio

Music of the Night

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The Romantic Jazz Trio, consisting of pianist John Di Martino, bassist Boris Kozlov, and drummer Tim Horner, continue the tradition of covering songs from Broadway musicals, though most of their selections for this CD come from musicals written during the 1970s and later. As many longtime Broadway fans will attest, sellout crowds and long runs don't necessarily mean the songs are the equals of efforts by the greats of earlier decades, like Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and the like. But the trio manages just fine interpreting songs from Chicago, Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast, Cats, and the modern standard "Send in the Clowns" from Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music. The problem begins when the focus turns to the lame melodies of Andrew Lloyd Webber; as one veteran jazz musician remarked to an audience, "They begin OK but don't go anywhere." The trio makes a go of it, even bringing some life to the tedious "Memory," but in the end, the weakness of Webber's songs stand out in comparison to the others' works. At least no one requested that the Romantic Jazz Trio record Webber's nauseating, overblown "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina."

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