Franco D'Andrea

Standards of the Big Band Era, Vol. 3

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The last of three volumes in Franco d'Andrea's Standards of the Big Band Era series covers ten favored by jazz bands (of all sizes) and popular singers alike. With bassist Ares Tavolazzi and drummer Massimo Manzi once again up to the challenge of d'Andrea's arrangements, there are plenty of ear-opening moments throughout the disc. "Back Home Again in Indiana" has never sounded so novel. The pianist gives a jazz history lesson (though out of sequence) as he darts in and out of various styles, incorporating a bit of everything from stride to free jazz, though the heart of his vision remains post-bop. "Body and Soul" practically goes into outer space during the leader's solo introduction; while his left hand plays its familiar chords, his left hand darts all over the upper half of the keyboard. The remaining tracks display the same adventurous attitude, with the trio finding new facets within each of these time-tested jewels from the swing era.

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