Sunday, March 23, 2008

Susie Arioli Band w/ Jordan Officer - Live at the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal (Justin Time, 2008)

Vocalist Susie Arioli leads a nostalgic, swing based group on this live album which includes the performance on both CD and DVD with her backing band consisting of Jordan Officer on guitar and vocals, Michael Jerome Browne on guitar, ShaneMacenzie on bass, Remi Leclerc on drums, and Martin Lacasse and Francis Mondoux adding background vocals. The material is mostly swing based, with the propulsive strummed guitars giving things a bit of a gypsy swing feel. Arioli's voice is mild and unobtrusive, and the band plays quite well within it. The instrumental tracks appealed to me the most, "Walter's Flat" and "Jordan's Boogie" featuring Officer who is a fleet and nimble guitarist. The sung material is from a variety of sources, with the requisite standards from Fats Waller "Honeysuckle Rose" and Benny Goodman "If Dreams Came True" but also has some country tunes from Roger Miller and some blues from Willie Dixon and Memphis Slim. The DVD is filmed well in good quality, and it has a few extra tunes not included in the CD and some interview segments. Vocal jazz is not really my forte, but I found this to be solid quality music, and fans of either restrained and tasteful vocals or guitar centered swing will probably enjoy this music.

Send comments to: Tim