Various Artists

Hipsters, Zoots & Wingtips: The '90s Swingers

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The mid- to late '90s saw the rise of a so-called "swing revival" that in many cases was closer to the jump blues and early R&B of Louis Jordan and Big Joe Turner than the big band swing of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Jimmie Lunceford. For members of the World War II generation who were old enough to remember the '40s, it must have been quite amusing to see their post-baby boomer grandchildren doing the jitterbug and the Lindy hop while sporting fedoras and pin strips (or poodle skirts and bobby-soxer attire) and looking like they'd just stepped out of a Betty Grable film. But more important than the retro fashion was the music, some of which was -- as this 15-song compilation illustrates -- rather good. Hipsters, Zoots & Wingtips was recorded from 1996-1998, but the African-American music of the '40s is the inspiration on infectious tunes by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy ("Go Daddy-O"), Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums ("Jumptown") and the Flying Neutrinos (whose lead singer Ingrid Lucia brings her enthusiasm for Billie Holiday to "Mr. Zoot Suit"). Also enjoyable is Lavay Smith's remake of the Little Esther Phillips hit "Oo Poppa Do" and the Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra's "Bill's Bounce" (the CD's only instrumental and its only real big band offering). Jazz's hardcore will tend to dismiss this collection because very little of it is hardcore jazz, although fans of '40s type jump blues and early, jazz-influenced R&B will find it to be a lot of fun.

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