S t o r e
... JAZZ MANDOLIN BY TOM BEKENY
JAZZOLIN, released in July of 2013 (Dog Boy records), is an exciting collection of straight-ahead jazz played on the mandolin by Tom Bekeny. The mandolin is rarely featured front and center in the world of mainstream jazz, but Tom’s musicality and intuitive grasp of the idiom transcend his use of a non-traditional Jazz instrument. The top notch rhythm section of Dan Feiszli on bass and Jon Arkin on drums seals the deal as Tom creates a legitimate jazz voice for the mandolin. As an additional feature, the music of Jazzolin is lightly spiced on selected tracks with Tom’s soulfully swinging violin.
01 Lady Be Good
02 Y.I. Blues
03 The Way You Look Tonight
04 What's New?
05 Ode to Billie Joe
06 Moose the Mooche Available at CD Baby, iTunes, or from Tom directly
07 All the Things You Are Contact:
08 Si Tu Savais
09 St. Thomas
Ted Eschliman, Jazzmando.com, August 8, 2013 ”We've thoroughly enjoyed listening to the fresh instrumental release of mandolinist/fiddler Tom Bekeny....he captures the nuance of phrasing and articulation like a veteran saxophonist and the delicate but supportive comping of a battle hardened session jazz guitarist. The arrangements are harmonically complex but never a challenge to the ear. Master of fret and pick, the instrumentalist attacks each track with a balance of confidence and gentle abandon. One would do well to study and steal some of his chord-melody ideas, particularly in the clever opening chorus to "All the Things You Are." Artfully arranged and professionally executed, "Jazzolin" should be on your short list of jazz mandolin audio acquisitions.”
Mandolin Cafe, August 8, 2013 “A terrific new recording from Tom Bekeny...impressive jazz chops...”
Steve Swan, July 23, 2013 “What a treat! This group of tunes continues the sort of musical cohesion, attention to following an idea all of the way through, and reverent service to the song itself...[The] playing makes solid musical sense, with intelligent left turns here and there to keep it interesting. I have throughly enjoyed hearing this set of tunes with a good collaborative rhythm section. I can hardly wait to hear more. Bravo!”
George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly, October 10, 2013 “...[Bekeny] shows that he’s really got a jazzer’s heart, going through a swinging set of standards with a few surprises with a hopping little trio with Dan Feiszli/b and Jon Arkin/dr...The solos here and on “The Way You Look Tonight” emphasize style and taste rather than speed, with Bekeny saving that style for his moments on the violin. A sly little take of “Ode to Billie Joe” has Bekeny strumming like Freddie Greene, while a closing “St.Thomas” has a clever quote from The Beatles. Clever without sounding like a novelty. Good show!”
Mark S. Tucker, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange,"[In Ode to Billie Joe]...Bekeny's back into fascinating fantasias, taking the song places it's never been, a synched violin retaining country airs as the mando weaves its way here, there, and everywhere. Moose the Mooche swings the way it meant to, here of course in higher register, with bassist Dan Feiszli and drummer Jon Arkin at the mandolinist's back every step of the way, as in every cut. The focus, though, is intensely on the mando, though you might want to listen closely to the intriguing use of violin in the first movement of Si Tu Savais, later assuming a much more Grapelliesque trad air with a touch of Ponty. I suspect Tom Bekeny, were he to release a violin-dominated CD, would be just as striking."
For Tom's recordings with High Country, go to highcountrybluegrass.com
For Tom's recordings with the Kathy Kallick band, go to kathykallick.com
photos by Mike Melnyk