Light your cigar, swirl your martini and slip the latest release from
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy into your CD player. Do the jaunty sounds
from your speakers sound familiar? They should -- if you didn't see
this neo-swing band tearing it up onscreen in the Hollywood
epic "Swingers," you'll recognize the tunes from those scratchy
thrift-shop records in the back of your collection. This is jump
baby, and it's all been done before, in another lifetime.
Yes, the music that this SoCal eight-piece plays comes at ya direct
from the past (the '40s, to be exact -- it's so old that it pre-dates
rock 'n' roll). Somehow this makes it seem much fresher than the
tired incarnation of "alternative," and sexier, too: this scene
dressing up and actually knowing how to dance. To listen is to
In existence for nearly a decade, BBVD is credited with helping to
define the current swing craze through a long residence at
Derby lounge (which led to their crucial appearance in
band alternates smoke with fire on their major-label debut, sliding
atmospheric numbers (the sultry, Latin-flavored "Please Baby" and
spooky "Maddest Kind Of Love") into a solid batch of rousing, lively
songs -- wakeup calls for jaded rock audiences everywhere; a
orange juice and a slap in the face.
The horn section -- the heart and soul of the band -- is tight and
flowing, a bracing brass unit that effortlessly cruises the high-
hairpin turns, anchored by Kurt Sodergren's booming, jazz-
drums. Singer Scotty Morris brings just the right touch of roguish
to the proceedings.
The best songs ("Go Daddy-O," "Mambo Swing," "Jumpin' Jack")
mind Tex Avery cartoons: a plush, wacky, cinematic world where
the glittering skyline sways to the fine tunes, and a fat chrome
winks approval from on high.