Debut Of A Legend (JD119)

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  1. Get Happy
  2. I'm Old Fashioned
  3. Osaka Saki
  4. Too Late Now/Street of Dreams
  5. Bow Jest
  6. Nuages
  7. Jitterbug Waltz
  8. Heather on the Hill/How Are Things in Glocca Morra?
  9. I Love Paris
  10. Here's That Rainy Day
  11. Lush Life
  12. Jeannine

Violinist Johnny Frigo's third album as a leader (he had previously made a forgotten date for Mercury in 1957 and a Chesky CD in 1988) is his definitive set, even though he was 77 at the time. With a good supporting cast (guitarist Gene Bertoncini, Bob Kindred on tenor and clarinet, pianist Joe Vito, bassist Michael Moore, and drummer Bill Goodwin), Frigo mostly explores standards, plus two of his originals. The music, falling between swing and bop, is superior straight-ahead jazz; among the highlights are "Get Happy," "Bow Jest," "Jitterbug Waltz," and "Jeannine." Frigo's sudden prominence in his '70s (considering he spent most of his career as a bassist) was as unlikely and welcome an event as trumpeter Doc Cheatham's late-period triumphs.

Review by Scott Yanow, AllMusic.com