Friday, January 31, 2014

The Fat Babies - 18th and Racine (Delmark, 2013)

In an era when modern jazz is king, you wouldn't think that there would be room for a band playing the songs of early jazz, works that were composed in the 1920's and 30's. But Bob Koester, head of Delmark records is a huge fan of that era of music and was thrilled to find a band of young musicians mining the fields of a bygone age. The Fat Babies have a growing following in Chicago perhaps not surprisingly since it was once the place where the likes of Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, and the Austin High Gang congregated back in the day. The band has worked hard and developed a following that has led to twice weekly engagements at the Green Mill and Honky Tonk BBQ in Chicago. The group consists of Beau Sample on bass, Andy Schumm on cornet, John Otto on saxophone, Dave Bock on trombone, Jake Sanders on banjo and guitar, Paul Asaro, piano and Alex Hall, on drums. Unlike Mostly Other People Do The Killing who did a loving send-up of trad jazz on their latest album Red Hot, this band takes the music very seriously, playing classic jazz and pop tunes of the day like "The Stampede", "King Kong Stomp", "Liza" and "Mable's Dream" in it's own quaint and pleasant way. 18th and Racine - amazon.com

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