Monday, July 14, 2014

CD Review: "Absinthe" The Music of Billy Strayhorn From Joe LoCascio and Woody Witt

Billy Strayhorn is well known to any lover of Classic American music. He is remembered by many for his collaborations with Duke Ellington which at times tend to put him in the shadow of "The Duke".  However, many music historians credit Strayhorn for much of the inspiration that Ellington turned into some of the greatest American songs ever recorded. Joe LoCascio, a marvelously talented Pianist, did extensive research into some of the lesser known songs in the Billy Strayhorn songbook and selected 9 of his gems! There is genius in song writing and Billy Strayhorn is certainly in that class. Even the lesser known songs stand up perfectly to the test of time. They are brilliantly written and sound new even more than 50 years after Strayhorn wrote them.

Joining Joe LoCascio on this CD is the very talented Saxophonist Woody Witt. Woody plays Tenor, Alto and Soprano Saxophones on this beautiful CD and the chemistry between Woody and Joe is remarkable. The level of improvisation from both of these world-class musicians is thrilling. Even better is that they improvise with a closeness you would only expect from brothers. The result is they have given life to the Strayhorn masterpieces they have chosen for this CD. The music is new, soft and sensitive. Exactly what you would expect from the brilliant song writing of Billy Strayhorn. The CD was mixed and mastered by Blue Bamboo Music. Chris Cortez was the executive producer and did wonderful job overseeing the recording and mix of this CD.

This CD is really good, and I highly recommend that you pick up a copy.

     Song List
1. My Little Brown Book
2. Charpoy
3. A Flower is a Lovesome Thing
4. Rain Check
5. Chelsea Bridge
6. Lotus Blossom
7. Isfahan
8. Absinthe
9. Daydream

I have attached a video from Facebook of Joe and Woody playing the first cut from the album, "My Little Brown Book".


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