Swingerhead

She Could Be a Spy

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AllMusic Review by

Michael Andrew has two jump swing bands. On the West Coast it's the Coconut Club Orchestra, and the one featured on this album is the East Coast version, Swingerhead. They both feature Andrew's ear-catching vocals and snappy compositions and arrangements. The group cleverly employs call-and-response device between singer and bandmembers so popular in the 1940s among groups headed by Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan, and others. Andrew adds a bit of male come-hither suggestiveness on such tunes as "Let's Rendezvous" and double entendre on "Lady With the Big Cigar." While the dominating tempo is swing, there is a break from the fast pace with exotic jungle music in "Mary Ann" complete with pulsating drums, strange noises, and haunting wordless vocalizing by Michelle Spiro. But the kick-off title track sets the scene for this album. It's a take off and spoof on the theme and the backdrop for the James Bond movies combining good music and amusing lyrics with a lot of fun. One can only imagine the goings on in the studio when the group was cutting this track. The basic band of eight members is augmented from time to time from a list of ten performers. Other than the vocalizing there is little soloing the emphasis being on the ensemble work. The work of the guitarist with the improbable name of Quiche Lorraine and vibist Christian Tamburr are prominent on a couple of cuts. But for the most part, it is a group effort. This shades of the jiving 1940s with modern trappings is entertaining and recommended.

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