New Baldassari mandolin CD

Butch Baldassari - the Vespa Love Festival sessionsButch Baldassari has released a new old recording of jazz mandolin music on his Sound Art label.

The Vespa Love Festival sessions was recorded in 1997 with Butch on mandolin, Jim Hoke on soprano sax, Byron House and Andy Spicher on bass, Frosty Horton, Gene Ford and John Mock on guitars, Andy Peake on drums, David Hofner on keys, Jim Hoke on recorder and Dale Armstrong on percussion.

The all-instrumental CD includes a couple of rock covers, some pop tunes and five new compositions from Frosty Horton.

Butch said that the odd and interesting title arose during session chatter, and led to the lovely retro-style cover art.

There are audio samples for two of the tracks on the Sound Art Recordings web site.

In other Butch Baldassari news… The most recent health update regarding his ongoing battle with cancer reports some very encouraging news from his last MRI.

“The results were good. The central core of the tumour was approx 19 x 17 cm in November and now measured approx 15 x 13 cm. We were told that there is also a lot less swelling in the surrounding tissues, harder to measure but less swollen. Butch’s eyes lit up like a child’s. He gave it the old two thumbs up, like Caesar letting both gladiators live or like Siskel and Ebert giving a movie good acclaim! We walked out 10 feet above the ground, our heads in the clouds, elated. It was close to freezing outside but I didn’t even feel it until a strong gust reminded me. It didn’t matter.”

Read the entire update online.

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John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.