All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
More nouveau swing courtesy of Pony Boy Records, one of the West Coast’s leading purveyors of same. The headliners this time around are trumpeter / vocalist Lance Buller and the Monarchs who pay the usual respects to the “three Louis” (Armstrong, Jordan, Prima) while adding a few spices of their own to the mix and even tossing in some standards (“Body and Soul,” “My Heart Belongs to Daddy,” “Easy Living”). Armstrong is represented by “Someday You’ll Be Sorry,” Jordan by “ChooChooChBoogie,” Prima by “That Old Black Magic,” “How Can You Tell About Me” and the obligatory “Jump, Jive and Wail.” Bullard’s saxophonist, Charlie May, leads his own swing band, as does guest drummer Greg Williamson (“Why Didn’t I Tell You,” “Body and Soul,” “Easy Living”) who doubles (trebles?) as Pony Boy’s commanderinchief. May is impressive on his showcase, “Body and Soul,” which was recorded in concert (the rest of the album was taped in a studio). Buller, who’s a fairly good singer, and Stephanie Porter try a Louis Prima / Keely Smith impersonation on “Black Magic” but they’re clearly no match for their brilliant predecessors. On the other hand, Buller’s two compositions — “Hipsters’ Paradise,” “Why Didn’t I Tell You” — are quite engaging and far above the norm, while Porter fares much better on Mary Martin’s Broadway showstopper, Cole Porter’s “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.” “Someday You’ll Be Sorry” is another highlight, thanks in part to Jack Perciful’s expressive piano, Buller’s luminous trumpet and tasteful comping by bassist Larry Holloway and drummer Julian MacDonough, as is the ballad “Easy Living,” for the same reasons (with Williamson sitting in for MacDonough). The Monarchs place tongues firmly in cheek for a “special appearance” by the J.L. (Jerry Lewis) Jazz Band on a brief (1:21) rendition of “Bye Blackbird” before closing the program with “Rocking Chair” (Teagardenstyle trombone and vocal by Gary Aleshire) and Brown / Henderson / Rose’s delightful but seldomplayed swinger, “Dummy.” A goodnatured romp with a numbe of delightful surprises. Swing fans should warm to it in a heartbeat.
Track Listing: Hipsters
Personnel: Lance Buller, trumpet, vocals; Charlie May, sax, background vocals; Gary Aleshire, trombone, background vocals, vocal on
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...