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The end of the 20th century saw a brief burp of interest in swing music. Brian Setzer and His Orchestra, the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy all produced an entertaining confection for about five minutes before moving on to the next big thing, whatever it was. Now Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has released their newest disc, Save My Soul. Justly, as the dust settles on the remainder of the neo-swing craze, those groups still serious can only stand to produce music more meaningful than that first great wave of pseudo-nostalgia.
Save My Soul presents a bit of a historical soundtrack, focusing on the sound of New Orleans on the cusp of the true swing era. "Zig Zaggity Woop Woop" is all zoot-suit novelty, as is the very clever "Don’t You Feel My Leg." The major standouts, "You Know You Wrong" and "Save My Soul," are all New Orleans: street marches with sweaty umbrellas and warm beer. This is infectiously fun music with sincere vocals and catchy melodies. It serves to pique interest in something more than the pedestrian listener to seek out the true origins of swing.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.