Ingrid Lucia

The Hotel Child

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Riding the crest of the revived interest in swing (and acoustic) music, the Flying Neutrinos have issued their second album guided by eminent, veteran producers Tommy LiPuma and Al Schmitt. A neutrino is a particle smaller than a neutron at the center of atoms which helps create atomic energy, and "neutrino" is an accurate moniker for this group. These four gifted, energetic musicians play swing with more than a dab of Bourbon Street added. Hotel Child is dedicated to the inestimable Doc Cheatham, who guested on the group's first album, I'd Rather Be in New Orleans. The album's title was inspired by a short story of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald and recognizes that by the very nature of the profession, musicians are hotel children. The four "hotel children" of the quartet are, appropriately, young and talented. Vocalist and leader Ingrid Lucía has a voice which is a combination of early Billie Holiday and her own unique sound and style. She is supported by Matt Munisteri on guitar and banjo, Todd Londagin on trombone and occasional vocals, and Matt Weiner on bass. On this album, other musicians are added, and their presence gives more body to the music. The playlist is attention-getting and attention-holding. There are traditional jazz standards, like "Some of These Days" and "Someday You'll Be Sorry," which Lucía delivers sweet and sassy. On the former, Jon-Erik Kellso's Buck Clayton-like trumpet gets the major solo time; on the latter, Londagin's trombone recalls the Trummy Young solo in the Louis Armstrong All Stars' version of this warhorse. Then there's newer material, such as Mark Cally's "Mr. Zoot Suit" from the 1999 film Three to Tango, and five originals by Munisteri, which are not throwaways, but have real meat on their bones. Listen to "Baby's Making Duck," where Londagin puts down his trombone to warble this sometimes funny, sometimes melancholy, but always hip tune, which sounds like something you expect from Dave Frishberg. Urban blues composer and performer Willie Dixon is represented by "Violent Love," where Lucía's debt to Billie Holiday is very apparent. Once again Londagin's trombone, this time muted, weaves in and out with Lucía's vocals, while Matt Weiner contributes a blend of country and blues guitar. Irrespective of what they are playing -- blues, swing, whatever -- the band goes about their business with a faultless sense of rhythm: sometimes syncopated, sometimes languid, but always entertaining and interesting. This is a fun album which has just a single fault -- 36 minutes on a CD is shortchanging the jazz consumer.

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