Jump with Joey

Generations United

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It's a great idea, taking a band equally at home with jazz, jump blues, and traditional ska, and pairing them with some of ska's legendary figures and top young guns. And Jump With Joey prove more than equal to the task, whether working through a swinging take of "Bluest Blues," with some fabulous Basie-type keyboard work from Mike Boito, or "Pigeon Club," a tribute to a Japanese club, with some freestyle toasting from London's Clappers Priest, who also features heavily on "Move Your Body." Another London ska stalwart, Gaz Mayall (son of bluesman John Mayall) adds melodica to "Jericho/Artibella," but the real coup comes with the dub version of "Pigeon Club," aptly called "Pigeon Dub," which reunites Jamaicans Roland Alphonso and Rico Rodriguez, playing together for the first time in 35 years. However, that's the icing on the cake. The filling is in all the other tracks, like the organ playing of War's Lonnie Jordan on the Young Rascals-styled "Summer Come Lovin,'" or "Ciao Marcello," which takes the band into uncharted territory on a Nino Rota medley. The standard "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" gets a Latin ska treatment, and throughout the record all the band members turn in superb performances, never less than on their theme, "Jump With Joey." More than just another band of ska wannabes, Jump With Joey show themselves to be the equal of their idols, the Skatalites.

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