CD Reviews

Music on the Web (UK)

Webmaster: Len Mullenger

[ Jazz index ] [Nostalgia index]  [ Classical MusicWeb ] [ Gerard Hoffnung ]

Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby





In A Mellow Tone

Concord Jazz CCD-2207-2

    1. In a Mellow Tone
    2. Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
    3. Tangerine
    4. Snow Fall
    5. Cherokee
    6. In The Dark
    7. The Very Thought of You
    8. Three Little Words
    9. What’s New?
    10. Moon Glow
    11. Jitterbug Waltz
    12. I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles
    13. Blues Foe Emmett

Howard Alden & Bucky Pizzarelli – guitars. (7 string)

This album is a combination of youth and experience, Howard Alden is one of the best of the new generation of jazz guitar players and Bucky Pizzarelli has been around much longer but never lost his willingness to experiment with the music. Together they make a very impressive duo, alternating between soloist and back up in an entirely seamless way.

The album consists of 12 classic tunes from The Great American SongBook and one original written by the participants. This suits me fine, I always like to listen to these great tunes played in new ways and must confess to being frequently bored by the tuneless sounds that sometimes pass for original compositions these days.

Howard plays two solos In the Dark by Bix Beiderbecke and I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles, both demonstrate the harmonic possibilities that the seven-string guitar affords.

In a Mellow Tone gets the album off to a great start, both men are obviously enjoying playing together and although their styles are easily identifiable, so is the obvious empathy between them.

Cherokee is another great work out, both men shine both as soloist and accompanist and the collective sound is terrific. Bucky plays the melody at the start of The Very Thought of You over a powerful bass line from Howard, Three Little Words is away and swinging from the first bar. Bob Haggart’s tune, What’s New, is one I never tire of because it lends itself to so many individual interpretations, it has a strong enough sequence to enable anyone who is interested to follow it all the way through. Fats Waller’s Jitterbug Waltz was written when most people thought jazz in ¾ time was not feasible, it is common today and the two guitars make it into very interesting fare. Blues for Emmett was written for the Woody Allen film ‘Sweet and Lowdown’, it is quite unusual and it stimulates some good blues performances from both guitarists.

This is certainly a ‘must have’ album for guitarists, but I recommend it to anyone who, like me, likes melodic swinging jazz.


Don Mather


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Northern Flowers
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Return to Index

Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers: