Album Reviews

Allen Vizzutti: ‘Ritzville’

By , | The Jazz Line

Trumpeter Allen Vizzutti‘s latest release, titled ‘Ritzville,’ is an absolutely eclectic collection of original compositions that promise not dull the senses of the listener.

There is a real mix of styles on the album, ranging from styles that include Kansas City blues, as found in the piano driven number “Laura’s Blues” to more funk driven numbers, such as one of the album’s highlights, “Ticklish,” which features the legendary Stanley Clarke on electric bass.  An eleven-piece string ensemble is also featured on four of his tracks, alongside his wife, pianist Laura Vizzutti.

‘Ritzville’ opens with its namesake as it introduces the listener to a soulful trumpet melody that is meshed with a slapping electric bass. The occasional (literal) bells and whistles make the track an appealing introduction to Vizzutti’s latest full-length effort. The melody is cheerful and catchy, and brings itself to sound like the classic fusion bands of the 1970s. As the album features fusion mainstays Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke on subsequent tracks, it is no surprise that the album kicks off with such style.

The album’s magnum opus is an eerie number called “Touched,” which showcases Vizzutti’s background in contributing to movie scores. At first listen, it sounds like the theme to the classic film, ‘The Godfather,’ and it is hard to tell whether or not the influential film directly influenced Vizzutti’s ominous playing. The string arrangements and the classical strumming provided by guitarist Mike Miller, add a romantic layer to this track. Its recognizable, beautiful, and a surefire highlight on the album. Miller’s solo, beginning at the three-minute mark fits in perfectly with the orchestral component of the track. His Spanish style would lend itself nicely to any genre, jazz included.

The Jazz Line Rating - 3 Stars

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