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Tom Morley and 78 RPM: Major And Minor Swing

Hot damn! This Hoosier can play jazz fiddle! In liner photos, Tom Morley appears too young to have ingested swing attitudes of jazz violin predecessors Joe Venuti, Stephane Grappelli and Stuff Smith, but his violin-guitar-bass trio, 78 RPM, has your foot tappin’ a few notes into the twelve 1930s-’40s Hot Club-styled standards. Raised near South Bend, Indiana, Morley learned violin at an early age, led a trio in high school and stinted briefly with bluegrass/country bands before heading for Nashville and a four-year stint with country singer John Anderson. Morley subsequently formed three versions of 78 RPM and though playing honky tonk, he yearned to play jazz, which he does with infectious lilting ease on this debut recording, adding intimacy with his boyish vocals on three tracks. Mike Lambert comps superbly on rhythm guitar and provides gleeful solos when spotlighted. Bassist Doug Brunt lays down solid beats for the tight-knit crew, and drummer Pete Wehner augments three tunes. But it’s Morley who glimmers nostalgically in the limelight throughout and leaves you wanting more.

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