I'm willing to concede that Rik Emmett, who once anchored the rock trio Triumph, is a talented picker with a precise, clean sound. What his Swing Shift lacks is any trace of originality or true inspiration. Emmett and his band, the Open House Collective, breeze through 12 original compositions (now there's an oxymoron) that borrow heavily from just about every major guitarist you've ever heard." Way Cool" reeks of George Benson, "Santa Fe Horizon" is warmed over Metheny and Gladhands sounds like a Chet Atkins hand me down. Swing Shift hits rock bottom with Emmett's hokey, embarrassingly sentimental, vocal track "One Look". Yechh! A feeble entry into the smooth jazz, swing revival sweepstakes. Sorry Rik, but I think this one is destined for the delete bin. 2-4 stars.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.