Pianist, Johnny Varro leads his Swing Seven through a fine sixteen-tune presentation. A most versatile player, Varro is equally at ease with solo stride piano, swing and Chicago style jazz.
The Swing Seven is a unit built upon the individual strengths of its players and the clever arrangements of its leader. Varro's golden touch turns the septet into a big band in much the same way as John Kirby did in the 1940s with his sextet. Kirby's group was known as "The Biggest Little Band In The Land."
Johnny Varro has a wonderful ear for a good tune and this CD runs the gamut from Chopin, Jess Stacy, Fats Waller to Johnny Hodges. I was really pleased to hear Ellington's beautiful "Black Butterfly" featuring Randy Sandke. My memory was kicked into high gear as I recalled purchasing the 78 rpm record by Joe Thomas almost fifty years ago. Another surprise was a nice version of the rare Fats Waller song titled "Caught." Always a fan of writer Walter Donaldson, the inclusion of "It's Been So Long" was a treat to my aging ears.
This will be a nice addition to the collection of swing music fans and there is absolutely no stale material. Good jazz, well done!