Alex Pangman

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Tackling a long out-of-fashion genre is always tricky enough; it's even trickier when the style becomes trendy again and burns out fairly quickly. Coming so soon after the collapse of interest in bands like Squirrel Nut Zippers, vocalist Alex Pangman's decision to record an album of '20s and '30s-style swing could have been doomed, except for the fact that Pangman obviously loves the genre, and has opted for a much more traditional approach here -- no pandering to the trendies. It also doesn't hurt that Pangman hooked up with Jeff Healey, who has long harbored an interest in classic jazz, and who knew a number of players around the world who would be interested in participating. As expected, the players are top-notch (and keep an ear open for Healey playing trumpet here). The real surprise is that Pangman -- only 22 when the album was recorded -- comes through so convincingly on this debut effort. The album is all the proof you need to know that she'll be worth watching in the future.

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