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Mapleshade Records created the offshoot Wildchild! Label to record fun stuff from the R&B, soul, rock and country musical genre. Fine. But that's not what's happening with this C-Nuts release - - a play on the name of the popular Squirrel Nut Zippers band? True, one can hear some R&B, especially when Jon Ozment or Derek Wille turns on the organ. But the charts are closer to post bop, with the emphasis on swing. Listen to the aptly named "Sultans of Swing" a medium tempo piece carried off by Pat Stacey's vocals and Scott Young's John Coltrane influenced sax. Not bad for a jump band. Also, while I'm sure it wasn't the intent, "Cars" with Ozment's modern sounding piano and Young's eastern snake charmer sounding soprano saxophone playing off each other's center rhythms, comes close to avant-garde. What these young men have done is taken pieces written by the likes of UK composer and artist Joe Jackson and rockers like Sting and Peter Gabriel and other contemporary composers and wrapped their works in a jazzy cover making what comes out sound better than the original. "Jimmy Jazz" has elements of traditional jazz again lead by Stacey's Dr. John like vocalizing and Young's dazzling clarinet licks. "Blitzkrieg Bop" comes straight from the bopsters of the Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie era with some tough walking bass by Steve Sachse. There's even a Latin piece combined with R&B with "Hyperactive".
The album is broader in scope than the liner notes would have one believe and it's a lot fun. Recommended.
Track Listing: Middle of the Road; Sultans of Swing; Jimmy Jazz***; Every Day I Write the Book*; Murder By Numbers; Shock the Monkey; Hyperactive**; I Don't Like Mondays; Tainted Love; Cars; Is She Really Going out with Him; Blitzkrieg Bop
Personnel: Pat Stacey - Vocals; Steve Sachse - Bass; Wes Crawford - Drums/Percussion; Jon Ozment - Piano/Organ; Scott Young - Soprano & Alto Sax/Clarinet/Flute; Derek Wille* - Organ; Steve Bloom - Congas**; Ariel Francis*** - Banjo