The Hot Sardines - The Hot Sardines
Vintage nostalgia is becoming more trendy these days, and in this case, I am more than willing to welcome it to the music world, especially when it is done this well. The Hot Sardines, a jazz group based out of New York, fuses old world glamour with new world techniques and creates a unique listening experience that is fun and irresistible to ignore. Bandleader Evan “Bibs” Palazzo and Parisian writer Miz Elizabeth met at a restaurant in NYC during a jazz jam session and shared their love and passion for music with one another, and the idea for the Hot Sardines was born. Using big band swing, and even a tap dancer, the Hot Sardines have managed to bring back the legendary sound of “hot jazz” and take it to the next level with a front-woman whose voice could easily be plucked from the 1920's.
Opening with 'Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen,' a sweet and savory tune with a lovely beat, the album transports us back to a time when speakeasies ran rampant and men were gents and women were gals and everyone was out to have a good time despite their economic pitfalls. The fact that the band has an actual bandleader is quite thrilling, and he plays it up quite well as he coaxes chants and funky rhythm out of his musicians, including fantastic solos from their resident tap dancer. Miz Elizabeth plays the washboard as well as sings, making for a different yet simple sound that mixes well with the rest of the band. Tracks like 'Wake Up In Paris' and 'I Can't Give You Anything But Love' really showcase the vocal range of Miz Elizabeth, as well as invoking the visage of a little hole in the wall bar in downtown Paris, the lyrics wafting over the smoky haze as smoothly as the bass player strums his chords. Tongue in cheek tracks like 'Your Feet's Too Big' and 'What a Little Moonlight Can Do' are fun and silly and bring a smile to my lips every time.
With 'Zazou (Sweet Sue)' and 'Honeysuckle Rose' the band really shows their passion and talent for this new genre that marries American jazz with French culture, proving that not all music genres have to sound the same, and that fusion is still prevalent in the world of jazz and R&B. The album ends with the beautiful 'I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance (With You)', rounding out a solid and stellar album from a band that almost never was. Even with my love of metal and rock I thoroughly enjoyed this album, as I have always been fond of big band and swing music. I love the vintage look and feel of the album and the people who made it, and I would highly recommend this one to lovers of old world jazz as well as lovers of modern fusion.