Veteran guitarist/vocalist Marty Grosz has done it again! He and Arbors Records have assembled a talented group of musicians to perform the music of James P. Johnson. Marty did the arranging for musical numbers and wrote the informative and clever liner notes as well.
On piano he had music educator/historian James Dapogny; on clarinet and bass clarinet, there was Dan Block. Jon-Erik Kellso played trumpet. Scott Robinson played soprano, C-Melody and baritone saxes. Vince Giordano, himself leader of a 1920’s style big band Nighthawks, played string bass, tuba and bass saxophone. Arnie Kinsella played drums.
All numbers were original James P. Johnson compositions. All arrangements are ensemble except the last, Harlem Woogie. This is a guitar duet with Grosz and Jim Glicking, a Philadelphia native who performs single-string magic, while Marty plays guitar stride chords.
Song list: Sippi; Hungry Blues; I Need Lovin’; I Was So Weak, Love Was So Strong; Alabama Stomp; Old Fashioned Live; Stop That Dog; If I Could Be With You; Charleston; My Headache; Don’t Cry Baby; Ain’tcha Got Music; A Porter’s Love Song to a Chamber Maid; and Harlem Woogie.
Grosz has another unique hit with his humorous vocals and his acoustic guitar work. I would have loved to be in the studio when this one was recorded.
Info: Arbors Records ARCD 19427; www.arborsrecords.com; mrd@gatenet
Review by F. Norman Vickers