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Big-T & the Bada-Bings


The Swing Legacy
Dancing on a Blue Moon

All aboard, the "Super Chief!"

Show bands know that's how you start it, and kudos to The Swing Legacy for keeping it fresh. On their new CD, Dancing on a Blue Moon, this seven-piece charges out of the gate with eyes on the prize, and does not relent.

The taut saxes keep the veins bulging on the album's opener, "Super Chief", while the piano sprints lithely alongside, skins holding the inside rail. It's not the unbridled mastery of Basie's band, but it sets the pace nicely.

Strutting in the paddock is a sultry "Blue Moon", with the soft voice of Carol Akerson at the reins. The sweet saxes rise again on Waller's "Lounging at the Waldorf", with Dave Chapman and Ted Casher blowing bubbles but not making foam…finger-snapping goodness without a blare or honk that doesn't belong. Phil Person gets the spotlight here on trumpet, but keeps the wattage low, letting the composition garner all the attention. And the ivory-strokes of Henry Francis are simply divine.

Todd Baker bumps a warm-blooded rhythm on "Willow Weep for Me", a sexy-scat-stroll that would make the blue moon blush. Akerson's scatting is a little…white, but it's the only blemish on this tasty number. Her voice is masterful on "Some Other Spring", a slow-dance standout. All the while, the percussion of Steve Giunta sets the table for every dish of vintage jazz. Dig in while it's hot!

This band knows how to play blue. The stray minor-in-a-major's and pratfalling arpeggio's give the music a vivacity and beautiful humanity. This collection of classic covers from the Harlem Renaissance (and beyond) is perhaps my favorite album of the year.

—Dante Murphy

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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