Buck Evans

Nize Baby

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This album recalls great old ragtime jazz at its finest and Dixieland jazz at the same time. While lead singer and pianist Buck Evans has a spoken-word delivery that adds little to the record, the musicianship of trombonist Mike Hobe and clarinet master Paul Woltz more than compensate for the shortcoming. "That's My Girl" and "Hard Boiled Baby" leave one wanting to do the Charleston or the jitterbug, but some of the slower tunes fall off the mark. A strongpoint with the songs is how they aren't edited for length, often easily surpassing four to five minutes. "Albania" returns to an up-tempo feel but "My Imaginary Friends" tends to snip the energy much too rapidly. Musically monotonous in spaces, the tender blue ballads of "Blue Shadows" work best, each performer given a platform to show their obvious talents. "Boot That Rhythm Section" maintains the album's integrity, with an old-time feeling and a brief foray into scat.

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