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Big-T & the Bada-Bings


The Susie Arioli Swing Band
Pennies From Heaven

There is an implicit power in understatement that many performers aspire to but seldom achieve, and it is a quality that is found note for note in Susie Arioli's new disc, Pennies From Heaven. Following up on the success of her group's debut, It's Wonderful, Arioli has once again taken a good selection of torchy standards and a couple of ripping solos from her guitarist Jordan Officer, and compiled them into a lustrous and sticky-sweet fusion.

Despite a lovely and bookish charm, Arioli obviously has a deep and abiding respect for her elders. Her performances of monoliths, like "Night and Day" and the title track, lack the lusty veneer that are often applied to the songs, while her timeless voice clarifies and enlightens them for new audiences. As the group's timekeeper with brushes and snare, Arioli is able to maintain a sultry rhythm that also allows her talented guitarist to shine on some snappy improvisations as well.

Officer also gets a couple of chances to snap off some '50s-flavored rockabilly solos on his own originals, "Jordan's Boogie," and "Walter's Flat." Arioli, on the other hand, slows way down to properly illuminate the nuances in Billie Holiday's "Don't Explain," and Duke Ellington's "Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From Me." With a sweet temper, a subtle wit, and a smart band behind her, Susie is likely to go far.

—S. Clayton Moore

Year 1999 Reviews
Year 2000 Reviews
Year 2001 Reviews
Year 2002 Reviews
Year 2003 Reviews
Michael Andrew & Swingerhead—Destination Moon and Michael Andrew Pays Tribute to Frank Sinatra
Susie Arioli Swing Band—Pennies From Heaven
Blue Eyed Devils—The Legend of Shorty Brown
Tony Fortunato and The Emperors of Swing—1
Ronnie Haig—Still Kickin' Butt
Harmonious Wail—Nonchalant
Frank Lamphere—Ain't Love a Kick
James Last—Gentleman Of Music
Billy Murray—Anthology: The Denver Nightingale
Jeff Potter & The Rhythm Agents—Rhythm Riot
Lee Press-On & The Nails—El Bando en Fuego!
Rhythm Rockets—Take Off
Jane Russell—Let's Put Out the Lights
Swing Legacy—Dancing on a Blue Moon
Don Tiki—The Forbidden Sounds of Don Tiki and Skinny Dip with Don Tiki
Retro Reading Reviews
The Art of Noir: The Posters and Graphics from the Classic Era of Film Noir

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