Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra
The Swing Album
so long ago, in the late '70s and the early '80s, a great English
band called Squeeze created an innovative kind of pop that still
sounds fresh today. The best known members of Squeeze were guitarists
Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, but in the band's early years,
a kick ass pianist who leaned heavily toward boogie-woogie helped
formulate the band's unique sound. His name was Jools Holland.
that swing and boogie music are gaining strength throughout Europe
and Asia, Holland is back on the scene with The Swing Album
(Coalition Recordings). He opens the floodgates with "T Bag Shuffle,"
which contains some of the best boogie-woogie piano work recorded
in years. From there, he rolls right into the standard "Well Alright
(Okay, You Win)," then charges into "Skin That Cat." "T-Bag" along
with "Skin That Cat" will remind you of the early days of American
rock, when Jerry Lee Lewis made it big by blending heavy boogie-woogie
piano licks with hot rock-and-roll.
13-track CD also features covers like the romping rendition of
Buck Clayton's "Avenue C," B.B. King's "Pauly's Birthday Boogie,"
and a driving version of "Jump For Joy." Occasionally, he experiments
with other sounds as well: "I'm In A Dancing Mood" diverges to
a Reggae beat, while "Dr. Jazz" is a live recording with a New
Orleans feel. Holland has also penned six originals, two of which
were collaborations with former Squeeze band member Difford.
Swing Album is a tremendous recording of exemplary piano work
with a full 19-piece band in support. Don't miss Mr. Holland's
opus, and be sure to catch him on tour this summer.