The small Florida-based Refined Records label is known for its eclectic mix of acoustic music with intriguing instrumentation, as well as a Django-esque approach, which includes delightful recordings of some of the top gypsy guitarists alive today. Snappy Hour is the debut by The Snappdaddys: four seasoned session musicians with impressive pedigrees in jazz, film and even (gasp) pop; they've worked with everyone from Frank Sinatra, Quincy Jones and Louis Bellson to Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks and The Who.
Several elements make this recording "snappy," as billed. For one thing, the nine original tunes (out of eleven total) are tuneful and substantive. They were all written by Stan Ayeroff, a wonderful guitarist and arranger who assembled his "musical dream team" for this release. The Snapdaddys include Sid Page, whose violin is sweet and blessedly on pitch; Brad Dutz, who makes creative and whimsical use of percussion and mallets; and Dave Stone, a fine first-call bassist.
The playing here is uniformly expert, tight and swinging, with an overall relaxing, happifying effect, even on bluesy tunes like "Midnight Blue," a film noir-ish showcase for Dan Higgins's expressive tenor. Another highlight is the group's tongue-in-cheek take on "Night and Day," which blows the dust off the overdone tune.
In sum, this gem of a disc is so mood-altering that it's nearly pharmaceutical. Snappy Hour is highly recommended for the winter blahs and other seasonal ailments.
Zander's Dream; Leslie Leaps In; Fandango for Django; Hopeful Hearts; Brave Enough for Love; Emily Jo; It Don't Mean a Thing; Gypsy Strut; Midnight Blue; Night and Day; Opus Groupus.
Stan Ayeroff: acoustic guitars; Sid Page: jazz violin; Dan Higgins: soprano & tenor saxophones, flute, clarinet;
Dave Stone: acoustic bass; Brad Dutz: percussion, vibes, marimba; Leslie Lashinsky: bassoon (6).
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.