Blue Plate Special

A Night Out with Blue Plate Special

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Blue Plate Special is among the latest of the swing revival latecomers to grab a Louis Jordan fake book, some high-waisted trousers and gimlet glasses, and join what may be a soon-passing craze. Featured on Swing This Baby (released by -- surprise! -- Slimstyle/Beyond), a collection comprised predominately of like-minded "new" swing bands and a few authentic acts, Blue Plate Special on an entire album is no stronger than they were in their compilation sample. Trying their hand at obvious lounge sub-genres such as spy, torch, and Latin, the septet's attempts are weak and misconstrued. Though most chapters of this musical Decalog are originals, none of them are really such. The stories of booze and bombshells are often repetitive and obvious, and the arrangements are likewise, with only the occasional catchy riff or punchy line. As for the admitted covers, there is not much new here. Anthony Marcesi's vocals are either weak or bellowy, as are most of the horn solos. From the likes of BPS, it would appear at this point that the field of Johnny-swing-latelys is growing far too fast for even the Gap-crazed market and needs to be weeded-out. If this is the "special," I'll have the soup!

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