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Groove Merchant

John Cocuzzi, vibraphone, piano, drums, vocals

CD: Groove Merchant

Contact John to purchase this CD.

Groove Merchant

vibes & vocals

2011 Release—
Antti Sarpila,
clarinet/soprano sax;
John Sheridan, piano;
James Chirillo, guitar;
Frank Tate, bass;
Joe Ascione, drums

    CD - "Groove Merchant"



Crazy Rhythm / Dream Dancing / The Glory of Love / How Am I to Know /
Tenderly / Minor Drag / Mellow Guitar / Did I Remember? / Last Night on the Back Porch (I Loved Her Most of All) / Je Ne Sais Pa / What'l I Do? / Lover /


"This is stylish,
impish and
mind blowing
in that low-key,
kind of way."




REVIEWS for this CD

"Jazz Lives" blogger

This CD captures some of what people who love John's playing have been admiring for years. Each track here is a little concerto with its own mood, tempo, and instrumentation. The CD seems too short -- even when you play it twice, as I did on first hearing. John says, "I purposely picked some tunes that aren't traditionally vibes and clarinet tunes, although we have enough on the project to satisfy anyone."

JERSEY JAZZ JOURNAL – December 2011, vol. 39, issue 11
Tony Mottola, Editor

Vibraphonist John Cocuzzi used the title of the first track to name his new disc, Groove Merchant (Arbors 19417), and it is a title that describes the very musician that he is. Through thirteen selections, Cocuzzi and his mates [see above] demonstrate how simpatico jazz musicians can create consistently wonderful music, even when they work together only occasionally. The members of this group have worked together before in various combinations, but this is their first outing as a unit. There are many moments of sublime interaction as they continuously find new ways to communicate musically, as if they were conversing with each other in words rather than notes. Each of these chaps in masterful. Cocuzzi is one of those cats who makes everyone in the room feel good. Sarpila, a protégé of Bob Wilber, has acquired from his mentor a particularly rare talent, making the soprano sax sound like a real instrument. Sheridan sparkles whether comping or soloing. Chirillo makes his guitar sound like an orchestra. Few bassists can match Tate's rich sound and immaculate time. Ascione simply kicks butt whenever he takes sticks in hand. Put them all together, add great songs like "Crazy Rhythm," "How Am I To Know," "Minor Drag," "Did I Remember," and the surprise track, "Je Ne Sais Pa" (by Hank Jones and Lionel Hampton), throw in Cocuzzi vocals on "The Glory of Love," and "Last Night on the Back Porch (I Loved Her Most of All)," and you have an album of pure joy and fun.

By Chris Spector   02/24/12

JOHN COCUZZI/Groove Merchant: This swinging vibes player is having too much fun on this date to ignore. Taking the listener for a trip of unexpected moves around the horn, whether it's the smooth opener, the long way around on "Tenderly" or simply stuff you wouldn't expect a vibe man to tackle (even if the Arbors All-Stars on board know their way around all too well), this is stylish, impish and mind blowing in that low-key, out-of-left-field kind of way. An adult date throughout, kids of all ages will dig it. (Arbors CD#19417)



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