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Reunion Really Swings at Town Hall

March 2, 1985

NEW YORK (AP) _ Seven swing musicians who’ve never worked as a unit held a reunion anyway Friday night in Town Hall. It was a reunion of the music. And it was pure pleasure.

Pianist Teddy Wilson, saxophonist Benny Carter, vibraharpist Red Norvo, drummer Louis Bellson, electric guitarist Remo Palmier, bassist George Duvivier and guitarist Freddie Green did swing. They swung high and light, fresh and inventive.

It was sweet to the ear, never insistent. It made the body want to swing with it, the head want to move like a cork on a pond.

The reason for the Friday concert and a second one Saturday, by the same musicians, playing different tunes, is a three-record album titled ″Swing Reunion.″ Book-of-the-Month Club is recording both concerts, the first jazz recordings it has made.

These musicians have crossed paths before. Bellson has played concerts with Wilson and Norvo, for instance, as well as recording with Carter. Duvivier has recorded with Bellson and Palmier has played in Bellson’s band.

Palmier’s duet with Norvo in ″I Surrender Dear″ was the epitome of good taste. Norvo’s playing is so good it sounds inevitable.

Wilson has been ill but he took the most solos, showing it’s possible to be firm in technique, light in delivery and continually surprising.

Carter did the only singing, ″All That Jazz,″ from the movie ″A Man Called Adam.″

Green, in Count Basie’s band since 1937, never took a solo there. He didn’t in Town Hall either but duets with Duvivier let the audience hear a lot of Green. Bellson took a vital, rousing solo in ″After You’ve Gone.″

That swung, too.

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