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Jazz drummer John Armato (& company) devotes his well-seasoned talents in tribute to a collection of choice ballads. In fact, Armato states this fact beautifully in the spoken-word intro to his new album The Drummer Love Ballads. It’s a great idea for an opener. Next, “Dreamsville,” written by the legendary composer Henry Mancini, is given an excellent arrangement (with standout trumpet) and is recorded expertly. Armato pays tribute to the City of Light with a version of Brahms’ “The Shadows of Paris” featuring the moody, deep voice of Lucy Wijnends, not to mention organ, violin and an achingly effective Parisian accordian. Altogether, these atmospheric elements meld into a slow, melancholy delight.