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5 For Freddie
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar); Warren Vach‚ (cornet); John Bunch (piano); Mickey Roker (drums).
  • Audio Mixer: Jim Czak.
  • Recording information: Nola Studios, New York, NY (05/09/2006/05/10/2006).
  • Photographers: Bob Frey; Mat Domber.
  • Bucky Pizzarelli's tribute to Freddie Green, the heart of the Count Basie Orchestra's rhythm section for a half-century, captures the spirit of the late guitarist. Unplugging from his amplifier and playing a lot of one-note chords, just like Green, Pizzarelli brings back memories of the unassuming musician who rarely soloed on record or in concert. The leader's supporting cast includes pianist John Bunch (as Count Basie), cornetist Warren Vach‚ (as Harry "Sweets" Edison), bassist Jay Leonhart (as Walter Page) and drummer Mickey Roker (as Jo Jones). These performances do not attempt to mimic any specific recordings; in fact, a number of the selections were never recorded by the musicians being honored. But with so much experience among the five players present, the music swings effortlessly and one is easily swayed into tapping a foot along with them. To complement the leader's understated guitar, Vach‚ uses a mute throughout the sessions, Bunch's piano is economical (much like Basie's approach) and the rhythm section is similarly reserved, yet there is never any doubt whether swing is in the air. ~ Ken Dryden
Professional Reviews
Down Beat (p.56) - "[T]his is solid swing...recalling the great 1930s chordal soloists such as George Van Eps and Carl Kress..."

JazzTimes (p.126) - "A longtime admirer of Green's work with the Basie band, Pizzarelli evokes the master's touch with requisite adjustments and economy and by placing the emphasis on unwavering, lift-producing 4/4 rhythm."
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