Dancing on a Blue Moon
aboard, the "Super Chief!"
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.
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
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
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.
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
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!
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.