Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mora's Modern Rhythmists|
Mr. Rhythmist Goes To Town
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rock
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My Favorite Band Gets Even Better
Joseph | Philadelphia, PA USA | 06/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mora's Modern Rhythmists are back, with the second of their two CDs, "Mr. Rhythmist Goes to Town." If you thought that there was slim chance of this top-flight band besting their previous efforts on "My Favorite Band," get ready for a treat. These boys step lively on their new offering, serving up some of the most delectable pre-swing hot jazz ever put to record. And there's a plus: The addition of the fabulous Kayre Morrison, whose lilting, disciplined voice would have had Ulysses begging to be untied from the mast so he could succumb to his fate in sheerest ecstasy. More on this little lovely anon; now for a few words about the CD itself. The first thing to grab you is the cover graphics. They are superb. The grinning, bowler-hatted Mr. Rhythmist rising over the deco night skyline captures what this band exudes best: a sense of time-warped fun. Popular music in this country has been overweight with navel-gazing ponderousness for too, too long. (Editorial over.) By contrast, the gents in Dean Mora's crew are obviously enjoying themselves. The ghost noises on "Mr. Ghost Goes to Town" are strictly nuts, and Dean's exhortation at the end for the boys to break it up captures this band's well-rounded cohesiveness. This esprit de corps is more than refreshing. It's exhilarating. Very few attempts to revive this kind of music actually improve on the original. This band offers the rare exception. Several cuts are actually cleaner, tighter executions of the densely packed, complex arrangements than the surviving '30s recordings. An example is the band's romp through "Cavernism." The Alex Hill arrangement of this Earl Hines-Jimmy Mundy tune is taken at a less frenetic tempo than the original, and gives the soloists plenty of room. The tenor sax solo-presumably by Phil Krawzak-has a delightfully romping quality that suits the band beautifully. Equally successful is the band's easy swing through "Chant of the Weed." The seldom-heard Spud Murphy opus, "Dancing with a Debutante," streams down the road like a Chrysler Airflow (or flows like a Chrysler Airstream), propelled forward by some superb scoring for the sax section, with muted brass punctuation along the way. (You may find yourself wishing from time to time that there were a second trombone and a fourth sax to give section and ensemble passages greater richness, but this is mere caviling. And it wouldn't suit much of the band's book.) Bert Ambrose himself would have marveled at this band's take on "Night Ride." (Note to the Rhythmists: Record a version of "Hors d' Oeuvres" next!) The evergreen "Sweet Sue" gets a nice Pee Wee Hunt-ish vocal by Jim Zeigler, and thoughtfully sensitive treatment, something the band did well with "Night Wind" on their last CD. This latter would have been a perfect showcase for the vocal talents of Kayre Morrison, whose style deserves more than passing mention. Ms. Morrison is equally at home on up-tempo numbers and dreamy ballads if this CD is any hint. You will hear overtones of Broadway assurance in this lady's voice, with hints of Ramona Davies, Edythe Wright, and the great Elsie Carlisle. She possesses a fantastic vibrato, excellent range, and her phrasing on "Smoke Rings" could not be better. Unfortunately, this is the only ballad that she sings on this CD. It's too bad, because she has a voice that is sweet, clear, and even touching. Add to this her evidently excellent musical judgment and good taste, and it the result is a vocalist who can make strong men sob and write bad poetry. Whether this is her aim-or the band's-I am not informed. But I eagerly await this band's next CD so I can hear more of her. Somewhere out there, Joe Haymes, Gene Kardos, Ray Noble, Fred Rich, Glen Gray and Ozzie Nelson are smiling. Withal, this CD is a must-buy if you have any feeling for pre-swing '30s jazz."
Lindy Hop, Shag, Balboa, or just Listen and Enjoy!
Chandler Smith (email@example.com) | Los Angeles, California | 04/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have listened to this band weekly for two years at the Derby in Hollywood, and they are top-notch musicians who have a real flair for recreating the feeling of this bouncy, enjoyable music from the mid '20s through the mid '30s. This recording is faithful to their live performances. While all the musicians are worthy of mention, I think the percussionist, Larry Wright, especially captures the sound of the period with the cymbals, cowbells, and light touch on his period drum set. And much of it is his own take -- the charts didn't always provide a percussion part. It's also a pleasure to hear Kayre Morrison on this album, who lends a jaunty vocal delivery to "King of Swing" and a smooth, pensive one to "Smoke Rings." Where else would you find this rare music done so well and with such contagious fun? You can't help but be happy as you practice your Lindy Hop, Shag, or Balboa to this CD, or as you just sit, listen, and appreciate the fine performances here."
The Rhythmists have got rhythm!
David L. White | Everett, WA USA | 06/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"21 tracks of fabulous Hot Jazz/Swing! I hadn't hear the majority of these tunes and they really inspire me to explore the Jazz of the early 30's. I particularly enjoyed the bands take on Earl Hines' Cavernism. A bit slower that the original, but still full of energy! I also like 'King Of Swing' which was terrific fun. Georgia Jubilee is rather fast and full of pep. This band is really fast and energetic. Some lindy hoppers may have a little trouble keeping up, but the music really swings, so they won't care too much! It would be great to hear originals from this band in the future, in the spirit of the tunes on their current playlist. Fantastic!"