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7 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, March 24, 2010
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I'm a Pizzarelli fan, so I knew I'd enjoy the album. Even so, I was surprised by how much I loved it. I think it's one of his best. The material is excellent, of course, and Pizzarelli has chosen wisely from Ellington's songbook. There's a nice variety of styles and moods and some very intriguing arrangements. He's chosen to blend both sung pieces and instrumentals. My favorites are C Jam Blues (an instrumental) and Satin Doll. Combining Don't Get Around Much Anymore and East St. Louis Toodle-oo took several listenings before I began to appreciate it -- the combination is so unusual -- but now i love that, too. It seems like Kurt Elling and Jessica Molaskey and Pizzarelli had a ball playing around with -- and updating the lyrics to - Perdido. The song invites you to smile along.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Tribute To Duke Ellington, March 7, 2010
"You could that say that making a recording of songs by Jazz's greatest star, Duke Ellington, directly after making a record of songs by arguably the greatest Broadway composer of all, Richard Rodgers, is an embarrassment of riches." ~ John Pizzarelli ~

An embarrassment of riches it is indeed! After recording an impressive tribute album, With A Song In My Heart: John Pizzarelli Sings The Music of Richard Rodgers, he came up with a fabulous album that pays homage to Duke Ellington's greatness, "Rockin' In Rhythm: A Tribute To Duke Ellington." His compositions have eternal charms and timeless quality that make them appealing and endearing to the ears of jazz fans. Quite a number of great singers and musicians have recorded his body of work, but what made this album so special is its remarkable material that is full of ingenious swing arrangements by Don Sebesky and John Pizzarelli himself. Each track has something wonderful to offer. An extra delight, which is a novelty, is the addition of one of my favorite musical instruments--the violin--to the usual instruments. I have to commend a fairly new but exceptional musician Aaron Weinstein for his excellent work!

The musicians who played effortlessly and made sure that each note is executed flawlessly include Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar), Martin Pizzarelli (bass), Larry Fuller (piano), Tony Tadesco (drums), Tony Kadleck (trumpet), John Mosca (trombone/alto sax), Andy Fusco (alto sax/clarinet), Kenny Berger (baritone sax/bass clarinet), Harry Allen (tenor sax) and Aaron Weinstein (violin).

Kurt Elling, a recent Grammy winner, joins John Pizzarelli on an engaging and one of the best tracks, "Perdido," which showcases not only their vocal artistry but also their scatting flair while Jessica Molaskey provides the background vocals. "I'm Beginning To See The Light" and "In A Mellow Tone" are exuberant numbers that are always joy to the ears.

It's awesome that "Satin Doll," a rarely-recorded-standard, is included in the program. It is a very enjoyable rendition that is listenable with a few repeats. It has a uniquely sublime arrangement that calls for Bucky Pizzarelli's inimitable guitar solo.

The most creative track is a fusion of "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" with "East St. Louis Toodle-Oo" and "Saturday Dance." It ends with a sound of a gong that makes it an interesting, inventive and extraordinary rendition.

"Just Squeeze Me" is a beautiful guitar solo by the singer/guitarist/songwriter/arranger all-rolled-into-one. He plays in the tradition of his heroes and inspirations--Bucky Pizzarelli, George van Eps and Joe Pass. In addition to the delightful up-tempo numbers, he creates a streak of sentimentality to the repertoire by rendering the album's emotional highlights such as "All Too Soon," "Solitude" and "I've Got It Bad And That Ain't Good."

Here's to the timeless music of Duke Ellington! And kudos to John Pizzarelli and his "team" for keeping it alive. This is truly a fabulous tribute to Duke Ellington. Give it a listen and enjoy!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great cd, better concert, February 28, 2010
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This review is from: Rockin' In Rhythm: A Duke Ellington Tribute (MP3 Music)
i just attended the concert for this album in Boston and was floored by how good the arrangements are for this album. John ius great live show. This album is full of surprises and takes amterial around for many many years and makes it fresh. Thanks!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rockin in Rhythm, June 17, 2012
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Saw this fellow on T.V. on one of the Night Shows (perhaps Jay Leno of Jimmy Falon). We were impressed with the music in all respects! We recommend this!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars John and Duke Forever, January 23, 2011
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This album might well be the finest yet produced by John Pizzarelli and his group of outstanding musicians. New arrangements of many of Duke Ellington's standards gives a fine treat to jazz fans.

We were lucky enough to catch four performances with John and his quartet at Jazz Alley in Seattle after release of this album. They performed many of the numbers and it was pure delight.

New listener or dedicated Pizzarelli fan, you'll give this one two thumbs up.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice work if you can get it., June 23, 2010
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Good blend of big band and small jazz group music with heavy lifting by John Pizzarelli on vocals and guitar.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rockin in Rhythm--A tribute to Duke Ellington by John Pizzarelli, March 25, 2010
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We listen to John Pizzarelli weekly on his syndicated radio show. We recently had the opportunity to attend a live concert of his. It was made known that this particular CD was going to become available. We enjoy him and his group, and decided to order the CD from you. It is very good.....well worth while.
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