George Rabbai & Co.: Lemon Drop

George Rabbai is a trumpet player who was a mainstay of Woody Herman’s last bands. He plays in a solid mainstream and Dixie vein, but the real joy of this album is his vocalizing, a delicious musician’s voice on older song standards, a warm scat touch on “Lemon Drop” and other delights.

The album also includes fine baritone sax work by Denis DiBlasio, (who also sings on some cuts), and a swinging rhythm section of Jim Ridl, Darryl Hall, and Jim Miller. This session was a pleasant surprise, some convincing and emotional work by contemporary players in a much older idiom, not nostalgic, but fresh and in the moment.