Washington DC's Chaise Lounge know how to show the listener a good time. On their seventh album they take the "cocktail jazz" description literally, offering a recipe for the title cocktail in the CD liner notes, compliments of the band's resident mixologist, bassist Pete Ostle. Not only that: there's even a "Play along with Chaise Lounge" option: a link to lead sheets online for all of the original songs.
As the title fandango implies, the program has a bit of a Latin tinge, beginning with the opener "Tick Tock." It's the first of many catchy tunes from the pen of film composer Charlie Barnett, with scintillating vocals from Marilyn Older. In this one she's demanding a commitment from a reluctant lover. "Last Night" is full of the flush of love at first sight, while the lovely ballad "If I Never Get To Paris" is a longing affirmation. The one cover, an up-tempo Latin treatment of Cole Porter's "It's All Right With Me," continues the love song thread that runs through the album.
There are several sparkling instrumentals to showcase various members of the band. "Hopscotch" and "Celestial Navigation" feature Older's agile vocalise doubling the instruments on the head, while the title tune features Joe Jackson's trombone. Older is not left out on the other instrumentals: she plays very capable piano on the title tune and "Pigs In Blankets," freeing Barnett up to play more prominent guitar parts. He even sneaks in some fuzz guitar on "Mambo Noir."
This is an eclectic band: no purists here. While there is usually a distinct jazz flavor, the three tracks in the center of the program ("You," "I See You" and "Love Is Everywhere") have a definite rock feel. Everything is played and sung with verve and wit: they're practically demanding the listener to join the party.
Tick Tock; Last Night; Hopscotch; Gin Fizz Fandango; You; I See You; Love Is Everywhere; Mambo Noir; Pigs in Blankets; It's All Right With Me; If I Never Get To Paris; Celestial Navigation.
Marilyn Older: vocals, piano (tracks 4 and 9); Gary Gregg: saxophone, flute, Bb and bass clarinet; Joe Jackson: trombone; Charlie Barnett: guitar, piano (except tracks 4 and 9); Pete Ostle: double bass, bass guitar; Tommy Barrick: drums, percussion.