Dick Johnson, 2005, CD
Jazz Ruler Type: Swing
O’s Notes: Dick Johnson is one of the unheralded stars on clarinet. This 2-disc tribute to Artie Shaw (with his band) includes many talented musicians including Lou Colombo (t) and guitarist Gary Sargent. They open up cooking with “Groove Merchant” and then relax into an extended arrangement of “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To”. Dick’s clarinet is warm and his tone is excellent. But what makes this collection sizzle is the incredible sense of swing. Listen to “Tickle Toe” for a prime example and the big band power on “Grabtown Grapple”. More than 25 examples underscore the point!