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.
Track Listing: 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.
Personnel: 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).
The best show I ever attended was the Zawinul Syndicate at the Blue Note in 1997. Being the youngest kids in the room, the host put us right in front of the band. The afro-beat electric set blew the roof off the building, an unforgettable sound
The best show I ever attended was the Zawinul Syndicate at the Blue Note in 1997. Being the youngest kids in the room, the host put us right in front of the band. The afro-beat electric set blew the roof off the building, an unforgettable sound. After, my girlfriend and I just sauntered up the stairs to the green room to meet the
band. I posed for a picture with Joe, after talking a little bit about boxing and how to stay healthy while the other guys in the band tore through a bucket of fried