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A Handful Of Stars by Aaron Weinstein

Most swing fans will recall "The Big Noise From Winnetka" introduced in 1938 by Bob Crosby and featuring Bob Haggart and Ray Bauduc. It seems that Winnetka, Illinois is making a big noise once again in the form of its native son, violinist Aaron Weinstein. The 19-year-old musician graduated from high school only 2 years ago. Now attending Berklee, Weinstein is making a mark.

Surrounded by some of the finest swing stylists in the Arbors Jazz stable, the young violinist picked a nice mix of songs from the swing era to more recent material by Luis Bonfa. His reading of the traditional "Dark Eyes" is really worth a listen. Weinstein’s hot violin is aided by standout solos from Nicki Parrott, Houston Person and Bucky Pizzarelli. Drummer Joe Ascione puts aside his normal kit and plays a West African Djembe drum.

While packing Joe Venuti’s "heat" and Grappelli’s "soul," Aaron Weinstein sounds like neither one of the vintage violinists. It’s refreshing to hear such original playing by a young musician. We were knocked out by this group’s version of "If Dreams Come True."

In only a couple of years, this jazz novice has appeared with such luminaries as Jay Geils, Howard Alden, Billy Hart, Les Paul, Gene Bertoncini, Dick Hyman and my favorite mandolinist, Don Stiernberg, not to mention the illustrious members on this CD. The record label’s website has sound samples. It’s worth a peek!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Aaron Weinstein
  • CD Title: A Handful Of Stars
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Arbors Jazz
  • Tracks: After You’ve Gone, A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes, Samba De Orpheu, A Handful Of Stars, Swingtime In The Rockies, Let’s Get Lost, Dark Eyes, Someone To Watch Over Me, If Dreams Come True, Pennies From Heaven, Dinner With Friends, Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me.
  • Musicians: Aaron Weinstein (violin), Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar), John Pizzarelli (guitar on 1,3,6. Vocal on 6), Houston Person (tenor sax on 4,7,11,12), Nicki Parrott (bass), Joe Ascione (drums).
  • Rating: Five Stars
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