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Donnie O’Brien: Meets Manhattan Swing: In a Basie Mood

Donnie O’Brien, a journeyman drummer in the New York area since the early 1970s, tackles tunes from the Count Basie canon on his long overdue recording debut, Meets Manhattan Swing: In a Basie Mood (Arbors). O’Brien acquits himself nicely in the company of venerable, refined swingmeisters like guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, pianist John Bunch, bassist Jay Leonhart and the wonderful Coleman Hawkins-influenced tenor sax player Carmen Leggio. Together they swing lightly and politely on relaxed renditions of Basie chestnuts like “One O’Clock Jump,” “Blue and Sentimental,” “Moten Swing,” “Jive at Five” and “Lester Leaps In” (an uptempo showcase for the 76-and-still-killing Leggio).

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