Elliot Kendall, a Los Angeles transplanted Berkeley native, has been on the periphery of the LA pop scene for several years as a music journalist, archivist, and musician of note. His debut album, Le Hot Show is a fabulous and inspiring record that shows off a variety of his skills. The sound of the record is big band/jump blues scraping up against California-based pop, especially the lush harmonies of the Beach Boys. A strange hybrid, you say? Well, it works, and quite well. Kendall's composing abilities are exposed here, but it's a mere introduction (his newer material on The Effects of Magic soundtrack shows great maturity). The standards such as "September in the Rain" and "How High the Moon" are the tunes that grab and hold here. Kendall's brilliant marriage of styles breathes new life into these chestnuts, and it's to his credit that he's able to show them in a brilliant, contemporary light. But, one of the highlights of the record is his own composition, an instrumental titled "Symphony for a Sunset," which is a fabulous mood piece that anchors the record, extending Brian Wilson's endless summer legacy with a wonderful sense of style.
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AllMusic Review by Matthew Greenwald