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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2010
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
"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
on February 28, 2010
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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on June 20, 2015
I was driving recently and heard All Too Soon on my favorite jazz radio station. I thought it was Chet Baker at first but later learned it was John Pizzarelli. Later at home, I checked on Amazon for reviews. Then I knew I had to have this CD. I have known of Pizzarelli for years but never really paid much attention to him. Generally, I tend to favor the hard bop guys and a lot of Miles Davis. But now I'll be paying attention to John Pizzarelli.

This is a great jazz CD on many levels. First, the organization of the music is a tasteful mix of ballads and up-tempo tunes, including vocals and instrumentals. Second, the arrangements are superb, keeping the flavor of the original music but with some updating. Third, the musicians are all first-rate as are their solos. Lots of nice surprises throughout the CD, too. For example, Kurt Elling joins Pizzarelli and his wife for a great version of Perdido.

If you have leanings towards the great big band music of the 1930s and 1940s (the "Great American Songbook" style), or simply enjoy great jazz music performed by talented musicians, you will love this CD. Pizzarelli is one talented guy who really understands what working with fine musicians is all about. Also, although I haven't timed the CD, it seems pretty long. So in addition to quality, you will be getting quantity as well. This is one of the finest CDs I've come across in recent years. In a word, it is a jewel and a lot of fun.

Hope to catch John and his band in Seattle at Jazz Alley in Seattle next time he visits.
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on January 23, 2011
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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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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on May 2, 2014
John is sheer delight....his performing is always perfect, and these arrangements
are incredibly innovative and exciting. Five Stars, well deserved.
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on June 23, 2010
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
on March 25, 2010
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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on January 22, 2015
one of my favorite entertainers
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