Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

4

The Fat Babies: 18th & Racine

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
The Fat Babies: 18th & Racine Early jazz stylists The Fat Babies' second album 18th & Racine is bolder than their first in their choice of material and their delivery of the songs included. Encouraged by the successful execution of their debut Chicago Hot (Delmark 2012) the band presents 14 lesser-known gems and an original composition by their cornetist Andy Schumm. The relative obscurity of these delightful pieces and the deftness by which the dust of history is polished off them exposes their raw emotion and makes for a very intriguing listening experience.

Vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Charlie Gaines' whimsical "I Can't Dance (I Got Ants in My Pants)," first popularized by pioneering trumpeter Valaida Snow, features group vocals over drummer Alex Hall's clear, resonating beats and pianist Paul Asaro's bright, stride solo.

Pianist Joseph Robichaux's "King Kong Stomp," which in its original incarnation in 1933 was one of the first recordings to introduce the vibraphone, opens with a primal, thumping rhythm that Hall and leader/bassist Beau Sample lay down. Reedman John Otto Richardson agile, elastic saxophone and Schumm's burnished horn contrast nicely with trombonist Dave Bock's bluesy growl.

Banjoist Jake Sanders shines in a brief, crisp and innovative improvisation on composer Owen Murphy's "Oh Baby." Schumm plays the romantic and deceptively simple melody with a lilting tone and sophisticated flair.

Shumm's own original, the title track, invokes the ambience of suave nightspots like the legendary Cotton Club. Schumm blows his horn with unbridled passion while Sample and Bock's exchanges add a dark and nocturnesque streak. Bock's trombone moans and roars over the syncopated rhythms with an urbane swagger.

Pianist/composer Mel Stitzel's (of New Orleans Rhythm Kings fame) "Chant" epitomizes the exuberant camaraderie of this energetic ensemble. The various members engage in thrilling musical exchanges as they take their turns in the spotlight.

This highly enjoyable and engaging disc closes with a nod to yet another pianist, this time Harlem giant James P. Johnson. Asaro plays Johnson's mellow "Blueberry Rhyme" with agility and elegance with only the backing of Hall's brushes.

With 18th & Racine the "trad jazz combo" The Fat Babies have honed and perfected their skills not only as musicians but also as true revivalists. They have resurrected, with their unique approach, unjustly forgotten tunes and together the nostalgic aura of a bygone era.


Track Listing: Liza; Till Times Get Better; The Stampede; Mabel's Dream; Nobody's Sweetheart; I Can't Dance (I Got Ants In My Pants); 18th & Racine; King Kong Stomp; El Rado Scuffle; Oh Baby; Stardust; I'll Fly to Hawaii; Oh Me! Oh My!; The Chant; Blueberry Rhyme.

Personnel: Beau Sample: bass; Andy Schumm: cornet and alto saxophone; John Otto: clarinet and alto saxophone; Dave Bock: trombone; Jake Sanders: banjo; Paul Asaro: piano; Alex Hall: drums.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Delmark Records


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Hear & Now CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
Read Known-Unknown CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
Read Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival CD/LP/Track Review Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival
Read Stinger CD/LP/Track Review Stinger
Read Binary CD/LP/Track Review Binary
Read Piano Song CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
Read "Dancing Our Way To Death" CD/LP/Track Review Dancing Our Way To Death
Read "The Long Road" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Road
Read "Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Duo
Read "Escualo" CD/LP/Track Review Escualo
Read "Just Get In" CD/LP/Track Review Just Get In
Read "Protean Reality" CD/LP/Track Review Protean Reality

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!