Susie Arioli Swing Band Featuring Jordan Officer: Pennies from Heaven (2003)
As soon as this sweet baker's dozen swings into action, you may feel as if you have walked into a lemonade commercial. The slightly sleepy fretwork of Jordan Officer gets the opening title track off to a dreamy start and Susie Arioli's brightly burred vocals follow along quite nicely. Pacing up for "Honeysuckle Rose," down again for a sparkling "Night and Day," and then way up for a rockabilly ride through the well-titled original "Jordan's Boogie," the dynamic duo and their competent support staff keep the mix interesting but never lose their underlying sense of fun. Even in the after-hours ballad "Don't Explain," Arioli keeps a slight smirk in her voice, as if her man has done her wrong and he wants to watch him squirm a bit. Similarly, the chugging blues "Having Fun" retains its titular tone despite its downtempo setting and "I'll Never Smile Again" is laced with a subtle hint of pride. Even when the music is slow and mellow, Arioli's ability to capture and project its mood-lifting capacity that makes the song (and the band) truly swing.
Track Listing: Pennies from Heaven; Honeysuckle Rose; Night and Day; Fooling Myself; Jordan's Boogie; Don't Explain; I'll Never Smile Again; Having Fun; Sit Down Baby; Walter's Flat*; He Needs Me; Do Nothing `Til You Hear from Me; No Regrets.
Personnel: Susie Arioli: vocals, snare drum; Jordan Officer: guitar; Michael Jerome Browne: guitar; Jeff Healey: guitar; Solon McDade: bass; Colin Bray: bass; Ralph Sutton: piano (10).
Style: Dixieland/New Orleans/Swing