Ron Sunshine & Full Swing: Straight Up

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
“It’s where jazz, blues, and gospel intermingle,” says Ron Sunshine; that describes Nouveau Swing as well as anything. Like a lot of the music, this album is jump blues, including a tune by its high priest, Louis Jordan. Sunshine blows a harmonica, and the band has deep blues credentials (members have played for Buddy Guy, Johnnie Johnson, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.) It’s a blast, from the hip covers to the authentic originals – and you don’t need a 78 turntable!

“Enough for You” tells you they’re serious – chugging rhythm guitar, gritty riff sax, and a full-throated mouth organ from the late ‘Forties. The voice is knowing, and does the job without sounding “hip” (the best in this style don’t “act” cool – they simply ARE.) Ron is upset that his girl’s tastes are richer than he is: “There will never be enough for you/ I give you one and Baby, you want two!” The group response and handclaps come with the era, as does the theme of “no bread”. “Hit That Jive Jack” has a tight group vocal, and a gentle swagger from saxman Craig Dreyer. The light guitar of Don Hovey is also welcome, recalling the days before distortion. Sunshine then hits the tin sandwich – talk about a foghorn! It’s a great blast, and even on the light numbers it keeps the blues rolling late into the night.

“Red Light” is a marvel; this original has the stamp of the ‘Forties all over it. Ron is upset that cops have shut down Lover’s Lane, and the only place he can kiss his girl is when the traffic light changes. Dreyer screams his frustration, and Sunshine echoes him: “Now’s the time when green means stop and red means go, go go!”

“Is That The Moon” adds three horns and a lovely slow vocal. Muted trumpet and deep baritone keep things tender, and Sunshine gets a lovely wah-wah from his harmonica – it fits like a fedora. “Lounging at the Waldorf” has a sweet vocal from one identified only as Moanin’ Mary. It’s a relaxed coo, with quite a hint of Billie Holiday. “How are you doing, Mr. Funky?” she asks Sunshine. It’s perfect; moan on, Mary.

“Tid Bits” is a tough instrumental: Dreyer does well, and so does drummer James Wormworth. “Do You Know?” has Dreyer’s guttural blast leading into Sunshine’s smooth vocal. He keeps momentos of his love, a tenderness shared by piano and gently chugging guitar. And “Undecided” pours on the jive, harmonica joining the horn section and lyrics running together delightfully. Andres Villemil strums the bass for a modern sound, and Wormworth crashes home for a grand finish. I’m not undecided – I like it!

| Record Label: Daddy-O/Royalty Records | Style: Fringes of Jazz


CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Ray Charles Ray Charles
Fats Waller Fats Waller
Benny Goodman Benny Goodman
Louis Jordan Louis Jordan
sax, alto
Hot Lips Page Hot Lips Page
Norah Jones Norah Jones
Slim Gaillard Slim Gaillard
Barbara Morrison Barbara Morrison
Lucky Millinder Lucky Millinder
Ruth Brown Ruth Brown
Ray Gelato Ray Gelato
sax, tenor

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "The Beast" CD/LP/Track Review The Beast
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Clockwork" CD/LP/Track Review Clockwork
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 13, 2016
Read "As subtle as tomorrow" CD/LP/Track Review As subtle as tomorrow
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 9, 2016
Read "Shoebox View" CD/LP/Track Review Shoebox View
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 4, 2016
Read "The Duo - Live!" CD/LP/Track Review The Duo - Live!
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "Yellow Red Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Yellow Red Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!