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Waverly Seven’s Yo! Bobby: Digging Darin

Waverly Seven

Bobby Darin wore several stylistic hats during his career, from rock ‘n’ roller to folkie to interpretive Sinatra-style pop singer. But when Waverly Seven hears Darin, who died in 1973 at age 37, they hear a swinger. Yo! Bobby, the New York-based band’s double-CD on Anzic Records, offers up 24 instrumental reimaginings of songs recorded by Darin at one time or another. Skipping from moody ballads (“Nature Boy,” “All the Way”) to brassy big-band arrangements (“Call Me Irresponsible,” “It’s You or No One” and, of course, “Mack the Knife”) to bluesy, rocking stomps (“Artificial Flowers,” “Splish Splash,” Nat Adderley’s perennial “Work Song”), the septet-whose members also record as solo artists for Anzic-doesn’t so much pay tribute to the Bronx-born Darin as use his canon as a takeoff point.

The concept was initiated by Colin Negrych, co-founder of Anzic with W7 member Anat Cohen, who plays clarinet and three different saxophones on the project. Cohen is joined by her younger brother, trumpeter Avishai Cohen (not the bassist of the same name), saxist Joel Frahm, keyboardists Manuel Valera and Jason Lindner, acoustic bassist Barak Mori, and drummer/percussionist Daniel Freedman. Two guests, Scott Robinson (baritone sax) and Vic Juris (electric guitar), also contribute.

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