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CD Review – Swingin' and Burnin'
 

CD cover - Swingin' and Burnin'


"Swingin'
and Burnin'"

Personnel:

John Cocuzzi
Vibes, piano, vocal

Allan Vaché
Clarinet

Steve Abshire
Guitar

John Previti
Bass

Big Joe Maher
Drums

   

From various sources

CD Title: Swingin' and Burnin'
John Cocuzzi – Mapleshade Recordings

"The vibraphone on the John Cocuzzi Quintet's "Swingin' and Burnin'" CD is filled with life and energy. The ringing of the steel tubes is extremely inviting without a touch of digital glare."
Jadem6 from audiogon.com

 

By Fred Kaplan
The Absolute Sound
August/September 2000:

I'm not a big fan of pre-modern jazz, but this is a title worth taking seriously, a thoroughly delightful album of tunes like "Benny's Bugle," "What Did I Do To Be so Black and Blue" and "Crazy About My Baby," that smacks a smile on your face and doesn't let it fade for more than a minute. The musicians are top-notch, they cook as a combo, and the sound, even by Mapleshade's standards, is sensational. Cocuzzi plays a Forties-era Deagan vibraphone made of steel bars (rather than the lighter aluminum models that followed), and the thing rings and glows like nothing we've heard on record. When Vaché blows his clarinet in the upper register, it's licorice sweet and, since he seems to be standing in the middle of the room, away from the mike, you sense the waves wafting in the air. Abshire strums a hollow-body Guild plugged into a Fender tube amp, and it gives off the warm glow you might expect. The drums have an explosive presence. Cocuzzi sings on a few songs, in a charming Hoagy Carmichael croon, and as those who know Mapleshades can attest, Sprey captures voices best of all.

CMJ New Music Report
May 22, 2000:

Swingin' And Burnin' is a set of songs taken from or inspired by the swing style of jazz music's formative years. Recalling Benny Goodman's small groups featuring Lionel Hampton, vibraphonist Cocuzzi and clarinetist Allan Vaché work extremely well together, and the two get great, understated support from guitarist Steve Abshire, bassist John Previti and drummer Big Joe Maher. While this group is not well known, they are seasoned pros whose collective profiles should be raised thanks to this inspired effort. For Fans Of: Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Doc Cheatham. Recommended Tracks: "Broadway," "Crazy About My Baby," "Lady Be Good."

By Harvey Siders
JazzTimes
October 2000:

There is definitely chemistry between vibist John Cocuzzi and clarinetist Allan Vaché, and it makes tracks such as "Benny's Bugle" and "Broadway" swing with a Goodmanesque élan. The album's highlight is on the latter: two choruses of rhythm-section free vibes and clarinet blues noodling—pure contrapuntal joy. "Black and Blue" has many poignant moments and "Comes Love" really sparkles, with its Latin and straightahead approaches, especially Vaché's jazz chorus. The only collaboration that fails is "Slipped Disc," which has a surprisingly mechanical unison head. Cocuzzi's Latin comping behind guitarist Steve Abshire on "Cheek to Cheek" —a montuno on vibes—is inspired. Truly inspired is Abshire on "Ghost of a Chance..."

 

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