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Quick and to the Point: Good times at the Loaded Hog.
This live recording at Auckland, New Zealand's Loaded Hog is a departure from the previous releases issued under Kelvin Roy’s name. Whereas his two previous musical explorations were based on his own works, this time he concentrates on covers. On this occasion Roy is stripped to his working crew, who obviously have fond memories of jolly bloody times at that famed Kiwi location, and not the type of group featured in his previous releases, which are more extensively electronic-oriented and less inclined to swinging pulses. Rather than hearing Chicagoan Roy singing along smooth jazz lines, as he has recorded so far, this time he’s in mainstream jazzier territory.
The gig was well recorded and it duly represents the skills this ensemble has to entertain such an audience. Roy delivers cool, muted, crooning vocals, which might be a bit loungy for many nonetheless. His bass trumpet playing features an equal emotive, tone and aural range as his singing, albeit devoid of his push for vocal hipness. The nature of the gig, however, determines the generic sound of the performance, which has its moments hidden amidst low points such as Roy’s singing in Spanish on a couple of compositions, a mandatory rendition of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” – that a nice piano solo can’t save – and a blasé rendition of “New York, New York.” “Goin’ Troppo” (from his '98 release Just Can’t Stop ), “Life,” and “Jumpin’ With Symphony Sid” do exhibit the group under better lighting... and it shows in even more tightness.