Swing On A Star ...

Light your cigar, swirl your martini and slip the latest release from

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy into your CD player. Do the jaunty sounds

busting

from your speakers sound familiar? They should -- if you didn't see

this neo-swing band tearing it up onscreen in the Hollywood

hipster

epic "Swingers," you'll recognize the tunes from those scratchy

thrift-shop records in the back of your collection. This is jump

blues,

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

latest

tired incarnation of "alternative," and sexier, too: this scene

demands

dressing up and actually knowing how to dance. To listen is to

enter

an

angst-free zone.

In existence for nearly a decade, BBVD is credited with helping to

define the current swing craze through a long residence at

Hollywood's

Derby lounge (which led to their crucial appearance in

"Swingers").

The

band alternates smoke with fire on their major-label debut, sliding

atmospheric numbers (the sultry, Latin-flavored "Please Baby" and

the

spooky "Maddest Kind Of Love") into a solid batch of rousing, lively

songs -- wakeup calls for jaded rock audiences everywhere; a

shot

of

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-

speed

hairpin turns, anchored by Kurt Sodergren's booming, jazz-

inflected

drums. Singer Scotty Morris brings just the right touch of roguish

cool

to the proceedings.

The best songs ("Go Daddy-O," "Mambo Swing," "Jumpin' Jack")

bring

to

mind Tex Avery cartoons: a plush, wacky, cinematic world where

even

the glittering skyline sways to the fine tunes, and a fat chrome

moon

winks approval from on high.