The Ritz

The Ritz

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In spite of this CD being self-titled, it is not the first recording by the vocal quartet the Ritz, but their initial release in a series of discs for Denon. The group had been in existence for five years at the time of these studio sessions. They do a great job with a fun-filled driving take of Louis Jordan's "Saturday Night Fish Fry," a lush arrangement of the moving "It Never Entered My Mind," an almost runaway Latin-flavored "Invitation," as well as a tightly negotiated through the ultimate bop roller coaster, "Scrapple From the Apple." They show off their abilities in a cappella settings during the introduction to "All the Things You Are" and a miniature arrangement of "A Child Is Born." There are also some misfires. The contemporary setting of "Old Folks" flops miserably, while the smooth jazz drivel "Ooh, Yeah" comes across as excessively long filler. But in spite of these weaknesses, this is one of the best releases by the Ritz, which evidently disbanded during the 1990s.

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