1. Orange Peel
2. Job Search
3. Poor as Food
4. Swanky Goes Shopping
5. Our Man in Verona
6. Midnight, Michigan Avenue
7. Swanky Goes Uptown
8. At Long Last
Eliot King Smith - Keyboards
Erick Storckman - Trombone
Cliff Lyons – Saxes
Pete McCann - Guitar
Andy Eulau - Bass
Scott Neumann - Drums.
I can’t say I was very impressed when I unwrapped this CD and found the list of tunes fixed to the back cover on a sticky label! Fortunately, the album was
more impressive when I played it. It is mainly the brainchild of keyboardist Eliot King Smith and trombonist Erick Storckman. Their initials account for
the group being called ES2. Smith wrote four of the tracks, Storckman composed two of them, and the other two were written jointly by the two leaders.
Unlike many modern albums, the tunes on this CD are all immediately accessible – but varied at the same time. The variety is magnified by the different
styles of the musicians – notably guitarist Pete McCann, whose sound is the sort of muscular tone you might expect in a rock band. He supplies some fine
solos, as does keyboardist Eliot Smith and saxist Cliff Lyons, who play in a more conventional jazz style. The bassist and drummer provide a strong
backing. Sadly, trombonist Storckman seems to be the weakest soloist in the band, with several fluffed notes.
Many of the tunes are in jazz-funk style but their melodic appeal dispels any possibility of sameness. This is not a great album, and it lasts for less
than 47 minutes. But it is clearly recorded and makes for pleasant and diverse listening, even though it is let down by the packaging.