Friday, February 5, 2016

Beegie Adair and Don Aliquo: Too Marvelous for Words

Adair Music Group
By Ric Bang
Buy CD: Too Marvelous for Words

Those old enough to remember the jazz scene in the late 1940s and ’50s know what it was like to enjoy the music that was being played on the countless radio stations and clubs that operated in every big city across the United States. Quite a few of the artists who were part of that kind of jazz — or influenced by it — are still active today. Tenor/alto sax player Don Aliquo and pianist Beegie Adair are two examples, and they’ve gotten together for this album.

Adair is the senior member here. Born in 1937 in Kentucky, she began to play piano at age 5; after obtaining a college degree, she moved to Nashville and became a session musician. Not many can say they’ve played with a range of singers such as Peggy Lee, Cass Elliot, Dinah Shore and Dolly Parton.  

Adair and her husband anchored their own trio, and over the years produced scores of albums.

Aliquo, born in Pittsburgh in 1960, worked there until 1999, when he moved to Nashville. He soon met and performed with Beegie, but this is the first album they’ve made together; they’re joined by bassist Roger Spencer and drummer Chris Brown (Adair’s regular trio members).

Jazz fans who still love 1950s stylings will enjoy this release. Most of the 10 tracks hail from the Great American Songbook, and only one — “Isfahan” — was written later than 1952. You’ll certainly recognize all of them.

Aliquo is a smooth artist who plays in the style of Stan Getz and Ted Nash. Adair is another Marian McPartland, but swings more. As a team, Aliquo and Adair groove nicely.

This is a wonderful trip to the past: more than an hour of melodies you enjoyed then, and will want to hear again and again.

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