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Swingadelic: Big Band Blues

Jack Bowers By

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As its name implies, Swingadelic, a "little big band from Hoboken, New Jersey, focuses primarily on music from the Swing Era, especially the blues. The band has no vocalist as such; instead, various members of the ensemble double in that capacity, with some faring better than others. There are vocals on eight of the album's twelve tracks, three each by guitarist Fausto Bozza and trombonist Neal Pawley, one by pianist John Bauers, and another by alto saxophonist Buddy Terry.

As bassist/leader Dave Post writes, "It's all about having a good time, and in that respect the album is a howling success, as everyone seems to be doing exactly that. Whether the listener shares that feeling is a matter of personal taste. What this listener can report is that the band is well-rehearsed (thanks in part to its twice-monthly gig at Maxwell's in Hoboken), the vocals decent if not mind-blowing, the instrumentals snug and swinging. These include Post's "Happyland, Al Sears' "Castle Rock, Duke Ellington's "Way Back Blues and Sammy Nestico's Basie chart "Hay Burner. Solos are fairly brief but on the whole respectable, with Bozza, Terry, Pawley, tenor Dan Alvaro, clarinetist John Martin and pianist/organist Tom "T-Bone Stinson among those making an impression.

Although the blues is not really my bag, what the band does, it does well, and those who are partial to blues with a swinging facade should find Swingadelic quite entertaining. This, by the way, is the band's third album, following Organ-Ized! and Swing-a-Delic!, and the first one whose title is not followed by an exclamation mark, as suits a more laid-back and bluesy environment. If you're a blues/swing fan, check 'em out.


Track Listing: Down Home Girl; Hay Burner; Don

Personnel: Albert Leusink, Les Rogers, Carlos Francis: trumpet; Buddy Terry: alto saxophone, vocal; Dan Alvaro: tenor saxophone; John Martin: baritone saxophone, clarinet; Neal Pawley: trombone, vocal; Rob Susman: trombone; John Bauers: piano, vocal; Tom

Title: Big Band Blues | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: MediaMix

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