Stompy Jones

Stompy Jones

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Stompy Jones is the band formerly known as the Swing Session revisiting, as the liner notes declare, "the sounds and rhythms of the 1930's through the early 1950's." The third album released by this ensemble since 1999 (averaging one every two years), the self-titled Stompy Jones, is every bit as exciting and well-crafted as its predecessors, The Swing Session and Whispering Grass. Drummer Bowen Brown does a fab job of producing this period-piece-material recorded in April of 2003 at Bay Records in Berkeley, California. Bassist/vocalist Little David Rose puts together another exquisite package with his chores as art director and the pen behind the liners with commentary that is as fun to read as it is informative. There's nice tension in "That Wig a Gotta Go," one of the five Rose originals on this 17-selection disc, as dramatic as his "Can't Find My Baby" with its growling horn. Peter "Pops" Walsh is commanding in his new life as vocalist -- the extraordinary session man for Lou Reed, Pacific Gas & Electric, and others comfortably putting a soulful feel over the band's tight instrumental arrangements. These gents are purists taking a version of Louis Jordan's "Knock Me a Kiss" from 1942, and lovingly re-presenting it to the world after much study. Johnny Mercer's "Dream" is up-tempo and fun, while the instrumental "Juke Box Judy," a 1944 classic, gives the band a chance to flex their respective muscles. Little David's commentary is as much fun a read as the music, and it's too bad there is only information on three of the songs. The essential music is so perfectly played by these industry veterans it is deserving of a Grammy. That's not hyperbole -- for this album is just great.

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