The Frank and Joe Show: The Hoot Factor at Sweet Rhythm
The CD adds three guest vocals, including Dr. John's patented drollity on "The Sheik of Araby," where he also plays piano under his real name, Mac Rebennack. Janis Siegel multi-tracks the campy "Don't Fence Me In," which is part prairie and part Hot Club de Paris. I was trying to praise Jane Monheit's creamy vocal on "Besame Mucho" to a friend; he said he could go to his grave quite happily without ever hearing that song again. I understood, since I feel the same way about "Summertime," but this "Besame" is archeological, scraping off decades of triteness to reveal the tune's original romantic yearning. The band plays it straight up and sweet, but with no paper parasols.
Well worth a trip from the hinterlands, the show continues at Sweet Rhythm (88 Seventh Avenue South) every Sunday night. May 9 is the CD release party, where even Miss Cleo could predict an exponential increase in the hoot factor (I wonder how many people will bring their mothers?). On May 15, at 4 pm, WBGO will feature a live broadcast of The Frank & Joe Show.