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Jack Sheldon & Jack Marshall: Freaky Friday: The Jazz Opera

Jim Santella By

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Humor and jazz from the early 1960s give this short opera plenty of sex appeal. The music that Jack Sheldon created, and the dialogue that he wrote with Jack Marshall, comes from an era when beach movies were popular and Elvis was giving the big-screen heartthrob performances that would last forever.

Howard Roberts' guitar, Sheldon's trumpet, and vocals by both Sheldon and Nancy Kelly give this precursor to Schoolhouse Rock a terrific ambience. Tongue-in-cheek humor abounds from start to finish. The story line is based on experiences of a social nature and how we're able to laugh at ourselves when infidelity takes place.

Sheldon's songs have a lyrical nature and depict beautiful scenery. "Bodega Bay sashays gently with a cool attitude, while "Persia rocks solidly over a driving rhythm section. Sheldon sings 'em with his one-of-a-kind kindred spirit, while Roberts' guitar adds a soulful blues hue. "Forgive Me Waltz features Kelly's charming vocal in an up-tempo romp that glides, while "Atomic Bomb provides one of Sheldon's more emotional vocals. The combination of his tongue-in-cheek lyric and Roberts' conversational guitar adds a significant amount of passion to the jazz opera, which remains filled with humor in all other respects.

"Freaky Friday moves lively with the same kind of light ambience that we've experienced through Sheldon's television appearances with "Conjunction Junction and "I'm Just a Bill. Always a pleasure. "Inez, the opera's lone instrumental piece, provides a sample of Sheldon's deep appreciation for Spanish classical music, as he allows his trumpet to soar majestically over lyrical hilltops and through ancient valleys.

Like the Austin Powers films that spoof spy movies from an earlier generation, Sheldon's Freaky Friday has a lot of fun with the beach blanket bingo lingo that stars like Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon made popular back in the day. Sheldon's humor and his music always make a fine combination.

Visit Jack Sheldon on the web.

Track Listing: Freaky Friday; Bodega Bay; Dragon is His Name; Dr. Deep; Forgive Me Waltz; Inez; Persia; Wait and See; Atomic Bomb; Freaky Friday.

Personnel: Jack Sheldon: trumpet, vocals; Jack Marshall: guitar, vocals; Nancy Nelson, Joe Howard: vocals; Joe Mondragon: bass, vocals; Nick Ceroli: drums; Howard Roberts: guitar; Phil Marshall, Frank Marshall: background vocals.

Title: Freaky Friday: The Jazz Opera | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Butterfly Records

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