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Album Review

There are two ways to look at the music on this CD. Since Vince Giordano's Nighthawks generally duplicate 1920s-era recordings (not just the arrangements but the solos), the end results are not that creative or surprising. However, since the level of musicianship is so high on this set, this project succeeds anyway, especially since the musicians really have a feel for the style, and the spirit of the '20s is kept very much alive. It is also an asset that Giordano (who triples on bass sax, string bass, and tuba) and his 11-piece group primarily play hot obscurities rather than well-known pieces. Among the bands whose music they cover are the Missourians, Red Nichols, Paul Howard's Quality Serenaders, Duke Ellington ("Birmingham Breakdown"), and Cliff Jackson's Krazy Kats; only "Sugar Foot Stomp" and "Indiana" would be considered standards. With the assistance of a strong lineup of musicians (Peter Ecklund and Jon-Eric Kellso on cornets, the reeds of Jack Stuckey, Scott Robinson, and Dan Block, trombonist Herb Gardner, and a four-piece rhythm section), Giordano manages to have his Nighthawks sound like a major '20s repertory band.

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Quality Shout, Vince Giordano's Nighthawks
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