Gettin’ X-perimental Over U

COMPOSERS: Charlie Barnet,Count Basier,Lester Young
LABELS: Verve
ALBUM TITLE: Zip
PERFORMER: Mike Zwerin (tb, b-tpt); Paul Breslin (g, v); Marten Ingle (b, v); Erwan le Marc’hadour (kybd, d, prog); plus others
CATALOGUE NO: 529 466-2

Advertisement

Described by Paris-based trombonist/ journalist Mike Zwerin as ‘a recycled ageing hipster’s youth… a way to make the good old daze good new days’, this consistently upbeat, witty album revisits swing classics such as Count Basie’s ‘One o‘clock Jump’, Lester Young’s ‘Tickle-Toe’ and Charlie Barnet‘s ‘Skyliner’ with serious fun in mind.

To this entirely laudable end, heavy, but strangely non-intrusive rock beats are laid over the lighter, airy original swing, and smart lyrics by Paul Breslin and Marten Ingle, on subjects ranging from vinyl fetishism to one-for-the-road melancholy, are added. A particular joy is Zwerin’s hymn to swing recited by fellow-expatriate writer Ted Joans.

Advertisement

The hip, humorous wisdom with which this jazzer’s litany is imbued neatly epitomises the spirit of an album that somehow contrives to be simultaneously straightforwardly entertaining while genuinely enriching the swing staples concerned. CP