Joyously cliched in places, this is a loving tribute to the old swing tunes, all with a travellin’ theme: Orient Express opens, with the piano and snare making a passable train impression before easy listenin’ sax comes in.
As John Lewis nearly has it, this is never knowingly over-demanding and overall the quartet has the air of Benny Goodman doing an army gig in a propaganda movie from 1943. Nothing to frighten the censor.
Echoes Of Swing play the tunes with a modern crispness (and in places reminded us of Joe Jackson in his Jumping Jive period) but with an authentic feel as well.
The band members are talented musicians so it’s all played well. The overall feel is of a jazz band playing old swing classics in a beer garden one summer’s day; toe-tappingly good but not overly demanding for the listener. This live feel is augmented by the fact that they’re clearly having fun: the cover art includes a bizarre photo of the band astride a donkey, and song titles include On a Slow Goat Through China. Good fun, easy listening swing that occasionally ventures into bop.
This is out on 23rd February on ACT. The cover image is Untitled Shoe by Robert Gober, made of pigmented wax.