Krisanthi Pappas

Celebratin' Swing

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This album records a live performance of the Celebratin' Swing revue, a brainchild of New England vocalist Krisanthi Pappas, recorded at the Orpheum in Foxborough, MA. Drawing from swing -- one of the most popular forms of music this country has ever enjoyed, and continues to enjoy -- Pappas has put together an exciting song and dance show. Not only is there singing, but tap dancer Julia Boynton does some good old soft-shoe on "Shine on Your Shoes" and "Stardust." The CD captures just about everything that happened at the Orpheum that evening. It was like a one-act vaudeville show with singing, dancing, and funny patter. On an a cappella "Siboney," Pappas and Brian Jones exchange places as one sings the lyrics while the other provides vocal rhythm, making this one of the more captivating tracks on the album. While there's only a quintet of players providing the musical accompaniment, they manage to sound much bigger. They also contribute some outstanding solos, such as Rick Hammett and Terry Anthony on trumpet and sax, respectively, on the title tune. Drummer John DiSanto replicates one of the most recognizable signposts of the swing era, Gene Krupa's drum solo on "Sing Sing Sing." DiSanto's drums are played against the rat-a-tatting taps of Jones and Boynton. While this performance is likely more spectacular when seen in person, it still comes off as pretty exciting on CD. Judging from the audience reaction, it brought down the house. The only quarrel with this otherwise engaging album is the sound reproduction. The sound is like the audience heard, which may have been fine for a theater, but comes across a bit distant on the CD. But the exhilaration of the performances overcomes this technical shortcoming. Recommended.

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