Classic Costa

Classic Costa

by Johnny Costa


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Johnny Costa's obscurity is due to his decision to spend his career playing background piano for many years on the children's show Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. This CD was his first unaccompanied solo session, and it makes one wonder what took so long. Nearly 70 at the time, Costa proves to be a virtuoso whose florid technique could be mistaken for cocktail piano if his mood variations and improvising skills did not eleveate the music. Sticking primarily to swing standards, Costa is best on the uptempo pieces (particularly "Get Happy"), where he strongly resembles his idol Art Tatum, but also hints at times at Oscar Peterson, Dave McKenna and George Shearing, in addition to showing off his interest in classical music. This CD, which is wrapped up by an effective eight-minute "Jazzspeak" during which Costa essentially gives his life story, is quite impressive and is his most rewarding jazz recording.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/28/1993
Label: Chiaroscuro Records
UPC: 0091454020522
catalogNumber: 205
Rank: 12732

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