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Album Review

Violinist Johnny Frigo may not have the name recognition of Stephane Grappelli, Joe Venuti or Stuff Smith, but this octogenerian swings with the best of them on this live CD from Hank O'Neal's popular Floating Jazz Festival. His light understated approach to "My Romance" is rather subtle, while his delightful lines in "My Favorite Things" are echoed in a call-and -response by pianist Joe Vito. Frigo's best known work is "Detour Ahead" (co-composed with his former partners in the group Soft Winds: Herb Ellis and Lou Carter); Frigo's variety of tones in this timeless ballad are simply amazing. Violinist Rob Thomas sits in for a spirited "This Can't Be Love" and vibraphonist Terry Gibbs guests on a blistering "Lester Leaps In," a tune that Frigo claimed he rarely played. This highly recommended CD is a must for fans of jazz violin, who will probably wish that Johnny Frigo would record more often.


Born: 27 December 1916 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Johnny Frigo has really had two careers. He started out playing violin in grammar school and after switching to tuba in order to play in his junior high school band, he took up the bass. Frigo started playing professionally as a bassist in 1934 and had some low-profile jobs until joining Jimmy Dorsey in the mid-'40s. In 1947, he formed a trio with guitarist Herb Ellis and pianist Lou Carter, called Soft Winds, that was popular for a few years; they co-wrote "Detour Ahead" and "I Told Ya I Love Ya,...
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Live At the Floating Jazz Festival, Johnny Frigo
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