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Big-T & the Bada-Bings


Quinn Lemley
Dance or Die!

Quinn Lemley’s third production, Dance or Die!, might sound like a commandment for some kamikaze lindy hopping inebriate, and indeed, this album is powered with pulse-pounding rhythms. Almost all the tracks are unique, innovative compositions, courtesy of pianist and producer Bob McDowell. The Lemley/McDowell union is perfect, as Quinn wields her partner’s lyrics with more accuracy than Mata Hari and with deadlier deliverance than Salome.  Her singing blends the sophistication and personality of a cabaret chanteuse with the kind of free-spirited sense of fun exhibited by Bette Midler, making Lemley a genre unto herself. Some of the tunes on this disc are fast, clean swingers with complicated arrangements, while others are swanky little musical episodes snatched from a jazz set. Still others are best enjoyed while luxuriating on your favorite beanbag at home, to the music of ice playing against the side of a hi-ball glass.The covers, especially, are wonderfully rendered. Just listen how Quinn both out-growls and out-purrs Ann Margret on her version of “Thirteen Men.”

Lemley sings with the same marrow-chilling quality as ‘50s doyennes June Christy and Julie London. Unlike these singers, though, Lemley doesn’t exhale her lyrics; her bright, high-pitched voice cuts to the soul like a heart-bound surgical scalpel. Quinn also unabashedly quickens the listener’s pulse with unbridled sex appeal (like Anita O’Day) by way of spicy style and flirtatious lyrics, which have undoubtedly prompted male audience members to pound at her dressing room door after a live set, insisting she finish what she started. Lemley (or, as she likes to call herself, “Trouble wrapped in Givenchy”) will undoubtedly ignite your stereo system and send your libido into orbit around the moon.

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- Giancarlo Davis 

Year 1999 Reviews
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Year 2003 Reviews
B.B. King—Let The Good Times Roll
Bellevue Cadillac—Take Out Out Takes
The Blue Dahlia—The Blue Dahlia
Bryan Ferry—As Time Goes By
Candye Kane—The Toughest Girl Alive
City Rhythm—Strikes Again
Dave's True Story—Unauthorized
Dmitri Resnik—It Ain't Rocket Science
Duke Ellington—The Essential Collection
Ernie Krivda—The Band That Swings
Etta James—The Chess Box
Fat Daddy Pussycat—Swing 2000
Flying Neutrinos—Hotel Child
George Gee & The Jump Jive and Wailers—Buddha Boogie
Hollywood Swing & Jazz
Hula Joe & The Hutjumpers—
Hula Joe & The Hutjumpers
Jimmy Nations Combo—Tarheel Boogie
Jimmy Vargas—The Tease, The Torch...
Josh Max's Outfit—Make It Snappy
Keely Smith—Swing Swing Swing
Kim Lenz—The One and Only
Midnight Cool—Jazz Classics Collection
Mora's Modern Rhythmists—
Call of the Freaks
Nat King Cole—Golden Years 1943-1946
The Original Band—
Still Rockin' Around The Clock
Peggy Cone—Bad Girl Shoes
Quinn Lemley—Dance or Die!
Red & The Red Hots—Gettin' Around
Red Peters—The Deacon Moves In
Sammy Davis Jr.—Sammy & Friends
Scrappy Hamilton—At Rock Bottom
Tom Maxwell—Samsara
The Slingshots—Feels So Right
  Retro Reading Reviews
Swing Style
Swing It!-The Andrew Sisters Story
1940s Hairstyles

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