Tony Fruscella (Atlantic)
Blogger and Rifftides reader JazzCookie commented that her Memorial Day song was “I’ll Be Seeing You.” That led to a reply including trumpeter Tony Fruscella’s 1955 recording of the Sammy Fain ballad. Frank Sinatra’s version with Tommy Dorsey had been a bestseller when millions of Americans were away fighting World War II. Fruscella made it the basis of a medium tempo excursion through the harmonies with no direct reference to Fain’s melody. Yet, in a masterpiece of fluid creativity, he left no doubt about what he was playing. Fruscella worked for brief periods with Lester Young, Gerry Mulligan and Brew Moore, and for a few months with Stan Getz. He played little after the late 1950s and in 1969 died of conditions related to drug use. This album is a monument to what he achieved when he was at his best.