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John Cocuzzi, vibraphone, piano, drums, vocals
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Boca Raton, FL – 2008
 

John Cocuzzi sizzling on vibes

Cocuzzi again starred,
this time on the vibes
teaming with
clarinetist Paul Hubbel
on "Oh Baby."
The outstanding musicianship and
rich tones of Cocuzzi
on vibes and
Allred on trombone
were showcased
in that great
Stardust number.

— MORT MAZOR

   

Swing & Jazz Preservation Society January 15, 2008 Concert:
ED POLCER AND HIS JAZZ ALL-STARS
By Mort Mazor, Board Member

It was an evening that unfolded with tune after tune of familiar sounds and titles we remember from the 30s, 40s and 50s. Ed Polcer in a return engagement arrived with five superbly talented sidemen and played the music we love beginning with "King Porter Stomp," followed by "Stompin at the Savoy" and concluding with "Stardust" like you have never heard it played before, featuring vibe artist John Cocuzzi teaming with John Allred on trombone doing a duet. The group’s rousing closing classic "There’ll be Some Changes Made" was a fitting end to the concert.

Led by cornet player Ed Polcer; Cocuzzi, Allred, Paul Hubbel on sax and clarinet, Frank Tate on bass and Joe Ascione rapping out the rhythm on the drums, we were treated to a cornucopia of familiar favorites — everyone which we recalled with joy: "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise" with cornet solo licks from Ed Polcer and some barehanded drum work from Ascione; "I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You)" with John Allred providing a soulful trombone solo turn. "Down by the Old Mill Stream"; "Midnight Sun" with a stirring vibe solo by Cocuzzi was followed by another great favorite, "I Cried for You" to close out the first half of the program.

During the intermission 29 members of the Boynton Beach High School “Dimensional Chorus” under the direction of Mr. Sterling Frederick performed for us. It was their way of saying thanks to our Society for donating $1,000 to them. This group of young people was warmly received by our audience, who expressed their appreciation with loud applause when they concluded their short program.

Before the Polcer sextet returned to the stage, John Cocuzzi treated us to a vocal and stride piano solo that reminded us of the smoke filled clubs on Swing Street in the 40s.

Blue Skies started the second half of the evening’s concert. Frank Tate on bass treated us to a haunting rendition of "Thanks for the Memories," followed by "It’s Almost Like Being in Love" and a stirring duet with Ed on the cornet and John Cocuzzi on piano playing "I Can’t Get Started With You." Cocuzzi again starred, this time on the vibes teaming with clarinetist Paul Hubbel on "Oh Baby." The outstanding musicianship and rich tones of Cocuzzi on vibes and Allred on trombone were showcased in that great Stardust number before the concert ended with "There’ll be Some Changes Made."

Each musician demonstrated their unique talents with solo performances on these unforgettable tunes — no sheet music in front of them. A great evening!

— Mort Mazor

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