Continental Stomp (Dig)


aec.hig8163.2 10/28/03 New
$11.18 $13.98

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ID: aec.hig8163.2


    Continental Stomp (Dig) Hightone / Shout! Records

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Review Text As its name implies, Austin, TX-based retro trio Hot Club of Cowtown attempts to be a cross between Django Reinhardt's Quintet of the Hot Club of France and Bob Wills' Texas Playboys, playing stripped-down Western swing in an acoustic jazz style using just violin, guitar, and bass. On record, the band's repertoire has reflected its hybrid taste, though 2002's Ghost Train contained a complement of originals by principals Elana Fremerman (violin) and Whit Smith (guitar). (The bass-playing third member has changed during the trio's history; here it is Jake Erwin.) The band's approach is one that practically begs for a live recording, and on this one, captured at the Continental Club in Austin on May 10-12, 2003, the Hot Club of Cowtown demonstrates that it is not running out of ideas for old songs; of the 14 selections, all of them covers, only three have been on the group's previous albums. It's no surprise that they cast back to the first half of the 20th century for their material, particularly the 1920s, and particularly tunes from the pen of Jimmy McHugh, who is tapped, along with lyricist partner Dorothy Fields, for the opening instrumental, "Diga Diga Doo," "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby," and "Exactly Like You." Those are nominally show tunes, but the trio hears them as early jazz and as platforms for fast improvising. The same holds true for country standards like "Ida Red" and "Orange Blossom Special." The group also can do justice to a ballad, however, as proven by a reading of "Pennies from Heaven." Winning as a live album is from a group that clearly makes its mark in concert, however, Continental Stomp also suggests that Hot Club of Cowtown may have shot its bolt in terms of recordings, unless it can develop its songwriting further. In that sense, the album is a holding action, but it is also the one fans may want to own as a souvenir of an enjoyable show. ~ William Ruhlmann

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Diga Diga Doo - 3:51
  2. 2. Deed I Do - 4:39
  3. 3. Chinatown - 4:51
  4. 4. I Can't Give You Anything But Love - 4:04
  5. 5. Ida Red - 3:06
  6. 6. Pennies From Heaven - 4:15
  7. 7. Crazy 'Cause I Love You - 3:36
  8. 8. Girl I Left Behind Me - 3:58
  9. 9. After You've Gone - 5:42
  10. 10. Exactly Like You - 4:22
  11. 11. My Window Faces South - 4:54
  12. 12. Orange Blossom Special - 4:10
  13. 13. I Can't Believe You're in Love With Me - 3:27
  14. 14. Pussy, Pussy, Pussy - 5:45

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