(Review by Lance).
Where have all the swingers gone? Trad/New Orleans/Dixieland bands abound as do hard bop to contemporary combos. But where are those in between bands - the bands that swing without sounding as if the drummer has a clubfoot or, at the other extreme, three feet and five hands?
Pete Horsfall, we recall from the Basin Street Brawlers, and here his driving trumpet lead also kicks Smitty's House Band along.
Warm Embrace, co-written by Smitty and Fox sounds like it was a number from one of those songwriting teams that abounded in the '30s - beautiful! And yet all the tracks are originals - only Cross, Webb, Ireland and Edwards don't get their name on the scoresheet.
The blurb describes the album as "a crafted blend of Kansas City jazz, New Orleans funk, trad and swing, with a touch of avant-garde/improv." Don't let these last two genres put you off. This is avant-garde as it was in the 1930s/'40s. Close your eyes and it could be John Kirby/Raymond Scott.Kansas City 7 or an Ellington small group time-lifted to today.
Highly recommended for "them as likes their music on the jumping side" - amazingly I picked up that quote from a Glenn Miller broadcast and it's even more appropriate here!
Kansas Smitty's House Band have their own bar in East London's at 63 - 65 Broadway Market, E8 4PH. Next time I'm in the Capital I'll be making a beeline - if I don't then maybe they'll come up to Newcastle to play the Jazz Coop's jazz bar at the Globe or the Jazz Café!
The album is available as a download (£8.99); CD (£10); Vinyl (£15.) from Kansas Smitty's official store.
Pete Horsfall (tpt/vcls); Giacomo Smith (alt/clt); Ruben Fox (ten); Theon Cross (tuba/tmb); Joe Webb (pno); Dave Archer (gtr); Ferg Ireland (bs); Pedro Segundo (dms) + Leonie Evans (vcl); Brian Edwards (ten).