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The Two Of Us by Johnny Varro

Johnny Varro is a piano-man in the tradition of Condonites Joe Sullivan, Ralph Sutton, and Gene Schroeder. He’s a veteran of the bands of Eddie Condon, Ruby Braff and Bobby Hackett. The Two Of Us marks Varro’s first solo album in some years but he’s appeared on no less than 25 other Arbors CDs including several with his own septet.

The pianist wrote his own comments within Charles Champlin’s liner notes. It seems that Varro chose these 20 pieces simply because they are tunes he loves to play. That’s good enough for me! It’s an eclectic collection of standards from the twenties through the Beatles and Michel Legrand. It was great to discover some of my all-time favorites including Gone With The Wind, Here’s That Rainy Day, On Green Dolphin Street and A Room With a View. Listening intently, I awaited the familiar "A Room With a View" only to discover that Johnny Varro was not playing the familiar Noel Coward melody. He, in fact, recorded another "Room With a View" penned by E.A. Swan and lyricist Al Stillman. Swan is probably best known for his composition When Your Lover Has Gone which had great success when waxed by Lee Wiley and Eddie Condon. Varro learned the Swan/Stillman tune while working with the late Bobby Hackett.

Other highlights on this disk are Blame It On My Youth, A Sleeping Bee and Mel Torme’s Born To Be Blue. There’s something here for all jazz fans and not only for the moldy figs like yours truly. Johnny Varro delivers in high style!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Johnny Varro
  • CD Title: The Two Of Us
  • Genre: Traditional / New Orleans
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Arbors Jazz
  • Tracks: If I Love Again; Lullaby Of Birdland; This Time The Dream’s On Me; I Could Write a Book; Beatles Medley; Gone With The Wind; The Two Of Us; Michel Legrand Medley; The Pearls; A Sleeping Bee; Where Is Love; Valse; Blame It On My Youth; Green Dolphin Street; A Room With a View; Born To Be Blue; Here’s That Rainy Day; Falling In Love With Love; For All We Know.
  • Musicians: Johnny Varro (solo piano).
  • Rating: Five Stars
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