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Pure Imagination

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Album Review

Johnny Varro has long been one of jazz's greatest swing pianists. Influenced by Teddy Wilson and to a lesser extent Fats Waller and Earl Hines, Varro had his own voice on his instrument for over 40 years before recording Pure Imagination. Assisted by bassist Mark Neuenschwander and drummer Ed Metz Jr., Varro swings his way through such numbers as "A Beautiful Friendship," "I'm Old Fashioned," "'Deed I Do," "Drop Me Off in Harlem," and "I'll Take Romance," also including a couple more recent songs in his repertoire. Heard throughout at the peak of his powers, Varro always keeps the melody in mind while filling his solos with subtle surprises. This is one of his finest showcases and is highly recommended.


Born: 11 January 1930 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Jazz

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

One of the top swing-oriented pianists since the 1950s, Johnny Varro has long been a fixture in the trad jazz circuit even if the greater jazz world does not seem to know that he exists. He considers his influences to be Jess Stacy, Teddy Wilson, and Eddie Miller, as well as the jazz performances he witnessed as a child put on by Jack Crystal. Learning the piano while following Crystal and his friends, Varro's first professional job was with Bobby Hackett for a tour of the East Coast in 1953. In...
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Pure Imagination, Johnny Varro
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