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Speak Low
     

Speak Low

by Johnny Varro
 
Johnny Varro has been a solid mainstream pianist since the 1940s, equally at home playing swing, cool, and bop, along with standards. In his eighties and still going strong, he assembled a quintet for these 2010 sessions featuring cornetist Warren Vaché, tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, bassist Nicki Parrott, and drummer Chuck Riggs, all

Overview

Johnny Varro has been a solid mainstream pianist since the 1940s, equally at home playing swing, cool, and bop, along with standards. In his eighties and still going strong, he assembled a quintet for these 2010 sessions featuring cornetist Warren Vaché, tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, bassist Nicki Parrott, and drummer Chuck Riggs, all seasoned musicians who know a wide range of songs. While there aren't any surprises among the 14 songs selected for the session, several of them have fallen out of favor for no apparent reason. One of the nice things about hearing skilled musicians who know their music is that things seem to fall naturally into place; they can play around the melody without resorting to clichés, while they also share the spotlight without egos clashing. Varro's light touch at the piano is reminiscent of Teddy Wilson, though he eschews predictable improvised passages and keeps his solos short. Over half of the CD is devoted to standards. "All the Things You Are" is one of the most recorded songs, though Varro skips Dizzy Gillespie's famous added introduction, instead launching a swinging, lighthearted treatment featuring Allen's robust tenor and Vaché's sparkling cornet bookending his masterful piano solo, followed by Parrott's intricate feature. Varro tackles both Rodgers & Hart selections at a brisk clip, with terrific interplay in "Falling in Love with Love" and offering an unusually peppy "My Heart Stood Still." There are lovely interpretations of Brazilian favorites ("Once I Loved" and "Summer Samba") and a loping, happy "Sweethearts on Parade" (a throwback to the Eddie Condon era of Chicago swing). This is a thoroughly satisfying release.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/12/2011
Label:
Arbors Records
UPC:
0780941141825
catalogNumber:
19418
Rank:
116495

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Johnny Varro   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Maurice Ravel   Composer
Kurt Weill   Composer
Irving Berlin   Composer
Miles Davis   Composer
Vinícius de Moraes   Composer
Bill Evans   Composer
Gene Lees   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Ogden Nash   Composer
Jerome Kern   Composer
Johnny Burke   Composer
Peter DeRose   Composer
Norman Gimbel   Composer
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
Lorenz Hart   Composer
Antonio Carlos Jobim   Composer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Mitchell Parish   Composer
Marcos Valle   Composer
James Van Heusen   Composer
Harry Warren   Composer
Carmen Lombardo   Composer
Ray Gilbert   Composer
Victor Schertzinger   Composer
Bert Shefter   Composer
Paulo Sérgio Valle   Composer
Charles Newman   Composer
Mac Gordon   Composer

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