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Bob Haggart: Hag Leaps In

One of an impressive number of top-rate Arbors Jazz studio sessions is the first release of the Swing Three: pianist John Bunch, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, and legendary bassist Bob Haggart, who still plays with all of the rhythm drive and intelligence that characterized his work from the mid-1930s on. Though identical in instrumentation to the pacesetting 1940s trios of Art Tatum and Nat Cole, as well as those led in the ’50s by Oscar Peterson, the Swing Three, whose average age is 76, pursue their own course, albeit one firmly based in the traditions of yore. In the varied 14-tune program, the standouts include the seldom-heard “Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise” and “Always,” “All Too Soon,” Strayhorn’s “Passion Flower” and “Chelsea Bridge,” the slow original blues, “Dot’s Cheesecake,” and the burn-burning “Hag Leaps In” and “Air Mail Special.”

Originally Published