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Violinist Mark O'Connor and his Hot Swing Trio pay lively homage to the jazz legacy of his mentor, the late Stephane Grappelli, on his new recording In Full Swing, highlighted with guest appearances by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and singer Jane Monheit. An Odyssey release from Sony Classical, the recording entered the Billboard Traditional Jazz Chart at No. 5.
Personnel: Mark O'Connor (violin); Jane Monheit (vocals); Frank Vignola (guitar); Wynton Marsalis (trumpet); Jon Burr (bass).
Recorded at Right Track Studio, New York, New York on August 26-30, 2002.
Mark O'Connor's second CD with his Hot Swing Trio is more than just a salute to the late, legendary jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli; it firmly establishes as him as a bona fide jazz violin virtuoso, thanks to being distributed by a major label this time around. The capable guitarist Frank Vignola plays gypsy swing ? la Django Reinhardt without sounding like a clone; bassist Jon Burr, who spent a decade as a member of Grappelli's rhythm section in his last years, provides a perfect match for his two bandmates. Each member of the trio contributed originals to the session. O'Connor's "In Full Swing" is absolutely breathtaking, while it is fun imagining how Grappelli and Reinhardt might have interpreted his enticing "Stephane and Django." Burr's pulsating "Three for All" and Vignola's lyrical "A Beautiful Friendship" are also worthwhile songs. The remaining selections all come from the repertoire of either Grappelli or the Grappelli-Reinhardt partnership, with occasional guest appearances by Wynton Marsalis and singer Jane Monheit. There are plenty of fireworks in the trio's wild ride through "Limehouse Blues" (which, of course, isn't a blues at all). The high-flying duo introduction to "Tiger Rag" by O'Connor and Marsalis is a meeting of two masters. Monheit's interpretations of "Misty" and "As Time Goes By" are merely average, and she doesn't loosen up enough to appreciate the fun within Fats Waller's "Honeysuckle Rose," though Marsalis makes up for her shortcomings. In any case, Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing Trio provide first-rate swing all by themselves, so adding guests isn't really necessary. ~ Ken Dryden
In Full Swing
Honeysuckle Rose - (featuring Jane Monheit/Wynton Marsalis)
Tiger Rag - (featuring Wynton Marsalis)
Misty - (featuring Jane Monheit)
Stephane And Django
Fascinating Rhythm - (featuring Jane Monheit),Fascinating Rhythm - (featuring Jane Monheit),Fascinating Rhythm - (featuring Jane Monheit)
3 For All
As Time Goes By - (featuring Jane Monheit/Wynton Marsalis)
Lime House Blues
One Beautiful Evening,One Beautiful Evening,One Beautiful Evening
The Seattle Times
The New York Times
...one of the most spectacular journeys in recent American music.