Personnel: Bob Acri (piano); Robert C. "Bob" Acri (piano); George Mraz (double bass); Diane Delin (violin); Frank Wess (flute, saxophone); Lew Soloff (trumpet); Ed Thigpen (drums).
Liner Note Author: Neil Tesser.
Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY (06/16/2004-06/17/2004).
Photographer: Jack Frisch.
Blujazz Records and the Cavalcade of Music Foundation brought together some of the world's finest musicians to create a musical project that definitely deserves your attention. This excellent recording is based around the music of Chicago-based pianist Bob Acri, who was a mainstay in the NBC and ABC radio orchestras, toured with Harry James, was a member of the house trio at Mr. Kelly's (the famous nightspot in Chicago), and also played on The Mike Douglas Show and The Dave Garroway Show. Accompanied by such great jazz talent as George Mraz, Ed Thigpen, Lew Soloff, Frank Wess, and Diane Delin, Acri plays "Watch What Happens" with Soloff out front on the melody. Soloff's slides, double tonguing, and staccato notes are beautifully balanced and his solo is technically superior. Acri's sweet solo accentuates the song with exquisite phrasings and arpeggiated chords. There are many divergent opinions of how this music should be presented and, as with all art, music is subject to many interpretations. Toward that end, at 85, Bob Acri is as dexterous as ever and amply offers his listeners a great program of originals and jazz standards. ~ Paula Edelstein