159

Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers: Everybody's Talking 'Bout Miss Thing!

Todd R. Brown By

Sign in to view read count
Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers: Everybody's Talking 'Bout Miss Thing!

The follow-up to Lavay Smith's 1996 album "One Hot Mama" surely has been long anticipated by Bay area fans of the retro-lounge scene. But "Miss Thing" is much more than just another neo-swing blast of recycled past.

Smith and the Skillet Lickers really turn up the soul on this album, and the litany of brass players make "Miss Thing" a considerable contemporary jazz album — regardless of the kitschy reputation that hangs over many of today's big band revivalists.

Alan Smith and Bill Ortiz do an excellent job of muted and full-blast hard-bop trumpet playing, particularly on "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You?" and "Roll the Boogie."

Smith has toured with Johnny Otis and recorded with no less a legend than Duke Ellington, while Ortiz has played with artists ranging from Tito Puente and Don Cherry to Carlos Santana.

The strings aren't half bad either. Skillet Licker mainstay Charlie Siebert is quite a jazz guitarist, putting plenty of pep into each solo, and bassist Bing Nathan gels well with the drummers he works with, particularly Sly Randolph — who's jammed with Earth Kitt and Wilson Pickett.

Lavay herself shines especially brightly on ballads such as "The Busy Woman Blues" and "I Want a Little Boy." She cites Dinah Washington as a favorite influence, though you can detect a broad understanding of jazz singing in her performance.

So if the swinging, soulful sound of Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald's boppy blues is what gets you grooving, I recommend "Miss Thing." It's a significant improvement over the band's last album, and a legitimate contender for one of the best traditional jazz records of 2000.

The Skillet Lickers play frequently around the Bay Area. Check them out in San Francisco either Fridays at Café Du Nord or Tuesdays at the Top of the Mark. For a complete listing of upcoming shows, just point your browser at LavaySmith.com and go cat go!

Title: Everybody's Talking 'Bout Miss Thing! | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Fat Note Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Fusion Machine" CD/LP/Track Review Fusion Machine
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Some Great Songs Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Some Great Songs Vol. 2
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Standard Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Standard Blue
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "What Do I Miss" CD/LP/Track Review What Do I Miss
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "It Will Come" CD/LP/Track Review It Will Come
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "Ella Lives" CD/LP/Track Review Ella Lives
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 21, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.