Jimcarusotheswing_span3
May 2011

Jim Caruso
Swing Set

Eleven years have passed since jazz/cabaret singer Jim Caruso teamed with pianist Billy Stritch for the delightfully campy Live and in Person, recorded at Arci’s Place in New York City. This long-overdue follow-up is a more subdued affair, yet it still captures the effervescent showmanship and deep appreciation for top-drawer material that are Caruso’s stock-in-trade.

As the title promises, there are several first-rate swingers among the 13 tracks, most notably a sparkling “I’ve Got My Fingers Crossed” propelled by Warren Vaché’s cornet; a rollicking “Gotta Be This or That” with Caruso in simpatico sync with duettist Michael Feinstein; and a “The Doodlin’ Song” with Stephanie J. Block that is also a fine showcase for Bucky Pizzarelli’s guitar artistry. Best, though, is a combustive “Avalon” that finds Caruso and Stritch swapping scat lines while Hilary Kole ignites the lyric.

Caruso also makes room for some accomplished balladeering, including a tender, dawdling “If I Only Had a Brain” and a closing “Heart’s Desire” that again places him in the sole company of the impeccably polished Stritch.

Originally published in May 2011
BUY THIS ALBUM from Amazon.com
STREAM THIS CD from Rhapsody.com

Add a Comment

You need to log in to comment on this article. No account? No problem!