Pandemonia Orchestra


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The big bands of the 1930s and '40s and the studio orchestras of the '50s and '60s pretty much exhausted the creative possibilities of swing, which was a major reason why the music passed from popular recognition. Kelley Love, a Southern California-based composer and pianist, tried to resurrect the instrumentation and the sound with his Pandemonia Orchestra in the 1990s, and based on the evidence of the group's debut album, he hasn't found much new to do with them. As a composer, Love can't seem to decide whether he' s trying to write new, jazzy pop songs or movie score music, and his pieces tend to split the difference. Hastily added lyrics to a few songs are ably sung by Tierney Sutton, but they don't match the style of their earlier models. Hints of later musical styles, especially later developments in jazz, sneak in here and there. As Harry Connick, Jr.'s similarly problematic efforts in this same regard show, resurrecting swing for real (i.e., not the neo-jump blues/rock hybrid of Brian Setzer and his ilk) is no easy task.

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