1. Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen
3. Fidgety Feet
4. Harbour Lights
5. I Believe in Miracles
6. Just You, Just Me
7. Waiting at the End of the Road
8. I Wish I Were Twins
9. Am I Blue?
10. Exactly Like You
11. Why Don't You Do Right?
12. I've Heard That Song Before
13. I'm in the Market for You
14. I'm Crazy `Bout My Baby
Patrick Tevlin - Trumpet, vocal (track 7)
Hannah Krapivinsky - Vocals (all tracks except 3, 6, 7,and 13)
Reide Kaiser - Piano
Colin Bray - String bass
Recorded at New Orleans North, Toronto, Canada, Apr. 22, 2011.
Based in Toronto, the New Orleans Rhythm trio of Tevlin, Kaiser and Bray was familiar to me, but the singer was not. Tevlin played reeds with Kid Bastien's band The Happy Pals, and, after Bastien's death in 2003, took over the band on cornet. Kaiser and Bray are both members of Brian Towers' Hot Five Jazzmakers band in Toronto as well as other well-known groups there, and both have recorded quite extensively. Bray also founded the Classic Jazz Society of Toronto in 1994 and has been its president since.
The singer, Ms. Krapivinsky, whom I had never heard of, is a Toronto native not long turned twenty, who went to an arts high school in Toronto. She sings with a band called Foxfire, which I had never heard of either, and according to an internet entry, "Foxfire fuses together a once-cherished disco sound with a bit of dance rock and a splash of new wave-a disco rock sound."
Somewhat apprehensive after reading that, I put the CD in the player and was very pleasantly surprised. Krapivinsky is no blues shouter but has a warm voice. She has great diction and control and uses her vibrato to enhance what she delivers. In effect, she could well be a big band singer of the thirties, and that is almost what she is on this recording; although the big band is lacking, the trio suffices to back her. She has been singing with Tevlin's group for the last several years.
Almost all of the selections are from the swing era, the thirties, only a few falling outside that period: three of these by merely a year (1929)-Just You Just Me, Waiting at the End of the Road, and Am I Blue?-the other two being Fidgety Feet (1918) and I've Heard That Song Before (1942). All except Fidgety Feet, perhaps, can be found in the repertoire of many swing bands..
Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, the first track, opens at the fast clip, and when Krapivinsky began singing the verse, I held my breath as to whether she would get all the words in, but that she did, making the chorus, which follows, seem a bit of a breeze. She is succeeded by a stomping piano ride; then Tevlin comes roaring in with a muted growl which also punctuates his solo, after which he gives nice background obbligato to Krapivinsky's closing vocal, leading into a kind of fade-out at the end. This rocking version of the tune gets the CD off to a swinging start.
Since the second tune, Marahuana, is also reprised at the end, it might be expedient to consider both versions here. The song is from the film "Murder At The Vanities" (1934). Those who don't recognize the Marahuana title might be more familiar with its retitling in 1947 to Sweet Lotus Blossom to mollify those who objected to "Marijuana" (the more usual spelling, perhaps). The first version opens immediately with the vocal and is taken at a fairly brisk tempo. The second contrasts with the first, opening at a slower tempo on piano accompanied by bowed bass, setting a very sedate-even somber-mood, joined by trumpet, leading up to the vocal. This tempo is the one I am more used to hearing for this song. Given the subject, it seems the more appropriate one, since cannabis is not a stimulant.
Space forbids my commenting on each of the tracks; so here are what are for me some of the highlights. On Fidgety Feet, one of the few tracks lacking a vocal, Tevlin plays an interesting variation on the stop time when it is repeated in the second strain, playing the notes at half time. Following the piano solo, Bray has a fine bass solo-a true solo uninterrupted by stop chords from others. Just You, Just Me, another of the few instrumentals, opens with a nice rendition of the verse (seldom heard) in what turns out to be half-time, then on the chorus the tempo doubles to the more familiar one for the rest of this tune. Why Don't You Do Right? is taken at a languorous tempo, Krapivinsky's voice being sultry here and suitably complemented by the muted trumpet and rhythm behind her. I'm in the Market for You, a song I was unfamiliar with, is given a good outing, especially on the piano solo where Kaiser supplies some fine right-hand filigree. Lastly, I'm Crazy `Bout My Baby, taken at a bright clip, sparkles from the opening notes, Krapivinsky getting all the words in without straining. Kaiser displays some nice stride in his solo spot.
Overall, then, this CD provides a very enjoyable trip back into the thirties and an introduction to what will be a new voice, I would imagine, for most readers, as it was for me. The group swings on all of the selections. This album is recommended to anyone who likes swing music or music that swings.
To order, one must go to the web site www.tevlin.ca as there are no plans for other distribution.