The Snapdaddys: Snappy Hour (2007)
Several elements make this recording "snappy," as billed. For one thing, the nine original tunes (out of eleven total) are tuneful and substantive. They were all written by Stan Ayeroff, a wonderful guitarist and arranger who assembled his "musical dream team" for this release. The Snapdaddys include Sid Page, whose violin is sweet and blessedly on pitch; Brad Dutz, who makes creative and whimsical use of percussion and mallets; and Dave Stone, a fine first-call bassist.
The playing here is uniformly expert, tight and swinging, with an overall relaxing, happifying effect, even on bluesy tunes like "Midnight Blue," a film noir-ish showcase for Dan Higgins's expressive tenor. Another highlight is the group's tongue-in-cheek take on "Night and Day," which blows the dust off the overdone tune.
In sum, this gem of a disc is so mood-altering that it's nearly pharmaceutical. Snappy Hour is highly recommended for the winter blahs and other seasonal ailments.
Track Listing: Zander's Dream; Leslie Leaps In; Fandango for Django; Hopeful Hearts; Brave Enough for Love; Emily Jo; It Don't Mean a Thing; Gypsy Strut; Midnight Blue; Night and Day; Opus Groupus.
Personnel: Stan Ayeroff: acoustic guitars; Sid Page: jazz violin; Dan Higgins: soprano & tenor saxophones, flute, clarinet; Dave Stone: acoustic bass; Brad Dutz: percussion, vibes, marimba; Leslie Lashinsky: bassoon (6).
Record Label: Refined Records