Longtime Toasters fans were disgruntled in 1999 when trumpeter Brian Sledge aka Lord Sledge left the group to devote full-time attention to his side band the Yallopin' Hounds. While dubbed swing revival, the Hounds' music leans closer to Jazz Messengers' style of late-'50s hard bop than mainstream acts like the Cherry Poppin' Daddies and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. The album contains 12 songs, 11 of which were written by alto player Joey Cavaseno. Most of the arrangements showcase Sledge's extremely wide range, but Cavaseno and tenor saxophonist Herman X are given a chance to take full advantage of their solos. On vocals Sledge is less than adequate when he tries to push his range. Part of the reason for this is the group's other vocalist, Queen Esther. Her raw jazz singing abilities prove that Sledge, while a great trumpet player, is a bit of an amateur on vocals. Still, this album should have a rather wide appeal, from fans of Sledge to jazz aficionado's who will no doubt take extreme pleasure from the group's stellar songwriting.
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AllMusic Review by Curtis Zimmermann