Vinnie Burke (b), Urbie Green (tb), Al Cohn (ts), Eddie Costa (p), Joe Puma, Jimmy Raney, Kenny Burrell, Paul Palmieri, Bobby Grillo (g), Jimmy Campbell, Joe Morello (d), Dick Wetmore (vln), Calo Scott (cello)
Reference: FSRCD 998
Bar code: 8427328609982
Bassist Vinnie Burke (1921-2001) was born in Newark, New Jersey. He began playing violin and guitar early in life, but when he lost the use of his little finger in a munitions factory accident he switched to double bass. Vinnie played with the small groups of Joe Mooney, Marian McPartland, Don Elliott and Tal Farlow, and with the big bands of Sauter-Finnegan and Benny Goodman, as well as in a number of groups he led.
The album Vinnie Burke All-Stars features two groups, a quartet (piano, guitar, bass and drums), and a septet with a somewhat unusual instrumentation, including two guitars, tenor, trombone and rhythm. The laid back repertoire includes three originals by Burke plus three standards and a jazz classic, all swinging, middle tempo tunes. The quartet sides display some hard charging, with the four men getting plenty of variety in their performances. The whole album is punctuated with logical, coherent and strong solos by Burke of course, but also by Jimmy Raney, Joe Puma, Al Cohn, and Urbie Green. It is worth noting though, that it is pianist Eddie Costa who contributes the most substantial and consistently interesting solos.
The basic String Jazz Quartet on the second album, appears only on three of the tracks —and it is augmented on the rest by brushes and another guitar— and the interplay within the group Burke assembled for this date is remarkable. Aside from his full toned bass, Calo Scott manages to communicate his message pulling a strong, jazz-based feeling from his cello, while Wetmore’s violin is always present without being overpowering. On the tracks with Kenny Burrell we find him in full control of his instrument, and Campbell’s lends a fine base and interesting accents for the group with a clever use of —wait for it— the Manhattan Telephone Directory.
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