Big Shout Out and Thanks to Scott Yanow:
For this great review in the August issue of the
“Los Angeles Jazz Scene”
Contrapuntal Stomp (Self-Released)
The Smoking Time Jazz Club, a New Orleans jazz combo that has recorded at least ten CDs thus far, is comprised of trumpeter Jack Pritchett, trombonist Russell Ramirez, Joe Goldberg switching between clarinet and saxophones (playing piano on one number), Brett Gardner on guitar and banjo, bassist John Joyce, drummer Mike Voelker, and singer Sarah Peterson.
On Contrapuntal Stomp, it is a tossup if one is more impressed by the band’s expertise at playing 1920s jazz, their enthusiasm and consistent creativity within the style, or the repertoire. It is not very often that one hears revivals of such pieces as Sidney Bechet’s “Characteristic Blues,” “Okey Doke,” the Johnny Dodds-associated “My Baby,” “You Made Me Love You” (the song recorded by Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five, not the Al Jolson hit), and “Sweetie Dear.” A particular delight is the charming and witty “Trombone Slide” which was only previously recorded by Roy Palmer in 1932.
Each of the versatile horn players has a colorful sound and a style that fits very well into classic jazz, the rhythm section swings in the vintage fashion, and Sarah Peterson’s bluesy vocals are a major asset. Whether it is Bechet’s charming “Si Tu Vois Ma Mere” (made famous in recent times by it being used throughout the soundtrack of Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris), “Come On and Stomp Stomp Stomp,” or “Everything I’ve Got Belongs To You” (which has no relation to the Rodgers & Hart piece from 1942), the performances are inventive and fresh rather than being copies of earlier versions.
Although it would have benefitted from including liner notes, Contrapuntal Stomp is highly recommended and available from www.smokingtimejazzclub.com.