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The third album as a leader for Boston-based vocalist, Krisanthi Pappas, captures a live stage production, Celebratin' Swing, conceived and created by Pappas. Not only does the celebration include singers and instrumentalists, but tap dancing as well. Dancer Julia Boynton is the main attraction on such cuts as "Sing Sing Sing" and "Shine on Your Shoes" Judging by the cadence of her taps and the reaction of what sounds like a full house, she must have been a sensation. She is also present on one of the most engaging tracks on the CD, the oft recorded, "Stardust". Talk about a refreshing arrangement, this is it. Terry Anthony opens with A Capella tenor sax followed by the muted trumpet by Rick Hammett. Then Hammett accompanies the tapper before the entire quintet joins in for a rousing conclusion. Pappas, in addition to being a fine singer, did the arrangements and wrote additional lyrics, mainly comical, for "Swinging on a Star". She can also bring a different set of attitudes to her vocalizing. She's sassy and swinging on "Sweet Georgia Brown". Joined by Brian Jones, she is sensuous for "Siboney" done only to the beats provided by three percussionists making this one of the finer tracks on the CD. Showing she can be an old time vaudevillian, she does "You're Nobody `Til somebody Loves You" with an engaging mixture of rowdiness and tenderness showing off her powerful set of vocal chords. The show ends with a fast paced instrumental, Pappas scatting "In the Mood", perhaps the tune that best depicted the swing era, or at least one of the more famous ones. It was played so often then that visitors to the U.S. may have thought it was our National Anthem.
This album is a fine tribute to one of the most popular genre in musical history. Although pronounced dead and buried more times than I care to count, swing remains alive and well. Recommended.
Track Listing: Swinging on a Star; Sweet Georgia Brown; Intro to Shine on Your Shoes; Shine on Your Shoes; Siboney*; Celebratin' Swing; Stardust; Intro to It don't Mean a Thing; It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing); Sing Sing Sing; You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You; In the Mood
Personnel: Krisanthi Pappas, Brian Jones* - Vocals/Arranger; Julia Boynton - Taps; Bill Duffy - Piano; Steve Skop - Bass; John DiSanto - Drums; Rick Hammett - trumpet; Terry Anthony - Reeds
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.