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Strong performances, but not all from 1958

  • Aug 24, 2013
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The performances in this album are all from Pittsburgh, but only tracks 2 through 13 are from 1958. I am not complaining - just setting the history straight because when you listen to the music - even the fragments - you will be treated to Marmarosa's genius and superb playing. Considering that the bulk of this album is not too long before he re-drops from sight only to surface again a few years later, albeit briefly, this album is a piece of history.

It's all about the music and the sound samples on this page will convey enough of that to convince you to either purchase or pass this album by. If you are a true fan or a pianist I am fairly certain that you will enjoy every track. Listen and let your ears and love of the music decide.

I mentioned that not everything on this album is from 1958. Let's start with the very first track, Dodo's introduction. That was recorded on June 17, 1995. However, it's a fitting prelude and I am personally glad it was included.

The 1958 tracks (2 through 13) were recorded at the Midway Lounge in Pittsburgh on March 5 and 6, 1958. Marmarosa is backed by bassist Danny Mastri and drummer Henry Sciullo.

Tracks 14 through 16 are from an April 1962 broadcast from WQED TV in Pittsburgh. Sterling Yates is the announcer, with an ensemble comprised of Danny Conn on trumpet accompanied by Carlo Galluzzo on tenor sax. The rhythm section is led by Marmarosa with Jimmy DeJulio on bass and Chuck Spatafore on drums.

Track 17 was recorded live at the University Of Pittsburgh Student Union Concert performd in Stephen Foster Memorial Hall in March 1956. Marmarosa is backed by Johnny Vance on bass and Chuck Spatafore on drums.

The final two tracks were recorded in the Pazcuzzi Studios in Pittsburgh on November 8, 1957. The ensemble on these tracks is comprised of Danny Conn on trumpet accompanied by Buzzy Renn on alto sax. The rhythm section is led by Marmarosa with Jimmy DeJulio on bass and Chuck Spatafore on drums.

If you are a fan this is what I consider to be an essential album by Marmarosa. In fact, considering the dearth of recordings over a relatively long life and short career this is an important album that portrays his still considerable powers not too many years before he called it quits for good.

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About the reviewer
Mike Tarrani ()
Ranked #284
My day job is in the technology sector as an IT consultant specializing in ITIL, and specifically, configuration, change and release management. I've traveled the world as a consultant before moving … more
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pianist lets the listener walk into the long, narrow Midway Lounge in Pittsburgh to hear his be-bop sounds
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