Backed by her Dixie Cats, vocalist Linda Ipanema whirrs through a program of New Orleans, swing, and plain Tin Pan Alley tunes. From the red hot mama Sophie Tucker school of singing, with some Kay Starr brass added, Ipanema is boisterous, fiery, and passionate in her delivery, recalling the days of music halls, revues, and vaudeville. Most of the tunes are up-tempo and feature some good traditional jazz playing from the members of the Cats. The clarinet of Orange Kellin, trombone of Dick Brady, and trumpet of Bob Cantwell get a workout on such tunes as "Cakewalking Babies From Home" and "Old Time Religion." In contrast, Ipanema and group clam down for "House of the Rising Sun," the tune that helped put Eric Burden and the Animals on the map. A highlight track is Ipanema's passionate rendition of "Miss Celie's Blues" from The Color Purple, with Jeff Young's guitar providing the main accompaniment. Her swinging credentials are well-established by that 1913 tune that is perennially revived, "Ballin' the Jack." But whatever the tempo and style, Ipanema's showmanship comes through loud most times, softer other times, but always clear. Seeing a live performance of her show must be quite an experience. Until then, this rollicking, fun album is a good substitute.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan