Johnny Varro

Say Yes: Arbors Piano Series at Mike's Place, Vol. 2

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Johnny Varro has long been one of the top swing pianists around, playing in a style not that dissimilar from Teddy Wilson's. The rise of the Arbors label in the 1990s resulted in Varro finally being documented fairly extensively. On this CD, Vol. 2 in an Arbors solo piano series, Varro explores veteran standards along with a few obscurities and ringers, such as "Django." In the lesser-known category are the title cut (a forgotten Fats Waller song), "Did I Remember" and "Forevermore," but even most of the more familiar pieces have not exactly been overdone through the years. Varro plays beautifully throughout, particularly on "Wherever There's Love" (Eddie Condon's finest original), Willie "The Lion" Smith's "Echo of Spring," "It's Been So Long" and "Emaline." Tasty and swinging music from one of the best in the pre-bop idiom.

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