||From the Vault...
The Brian Setzer Orchestra
© Interscope Records
Year of Release: 2000
Jumpin' East Of Java
If You Can't Rock Me
Gettin' In The Mood
Drive Like Lightning
Mack The Knife
The Footloose Doll
From Here To Eternity
That's The Kind Of
Sugar Papa Likes
'49 Mercury Blues
The Brian Setzer Orchestra related sites:
The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Brian Setzer reclaimed big-band music with full frenzy with his classic
release, The Dirty Boogie in 1998. His follow up was 2000's Vavoom!,
as it continues the classic and traditional big-band sound with an early rock and
roll style, similar to the band he was previously in, The Stray Cats.
Starting off this release is Setzer's version of the Glenn Miller classic
"Pennsylvania 6-5000". Having an old scratchy 45s (or in Miller's case,
78) sound at the beginning of this song gives it a great nostalgia touch.
As usual, this version has the jumpin' jive sound as heard from his previous
album. Likewise, a hot jumpin' jiving original, "Jumpin' East Side Of Java"
(written by Setzer himself) combines the Stray Cats Sound with the "Jump
Jive 'n Wail" sound. It also showcases his orchestra soloing with a mean
sax and guitar alternating between each other.
"Americano" (co-written by Setzer) once again continues the jumpin'
jive sound, and for those who are familar with
Reverend Horton Heat's music, you could
easily say that both Setzer and Heat could be twin brothers in music and sound.
Setzer wrote "If You Can't Rock Me", and it strongly resembles the Stray
Cats' early rock 'n roll sound. "Gettin' In The Mood" was co-written by
Setzer, yet it has the musical melody of Glenn Miller's classic "In The
Mood," with different lyrics. Reverend Horton Heat comes to mind on
"Ride Like Lightning (Crash Like Thunder)"; this one is a rocker!
Setzer's version of Bobby Darin's "Mack The Knife" shows itself as
a true big-band/jazz classic. Duke Ellington's "Caravan" showcases
Setzer as a true twangy guitar instrumentalist. Another Setzer original,
"The Footloose Doll" is another great jumpin' jive tune, with his
"big-band meets rock n roll" sound. The traditional big-band sound mixed
with rockabilly best describes "From Here To Eternity" (co-written by
Setzer). The harmonies/background vocals standout on "That's The Kind Of
Sugar Papa Likes," another jumpin' jive Setzer original.
Stray Cats bass-plucking rockabilly best describes "'49 Mercury Blues"
and "Jukebox," both songs written by Setzer. The album's closing tune
"Gloria" was written by Esther Navarroo, as it has a very distinct
1950s doo-wop sound.
Imagine we are back in the early 1950s... Big-band jazz music was somewhat
slipping, and of course, by 1955 a new sound called rock and roll was born.
But let's just imagine that it's 1950 again, and a young man by the name of
Brian Setzer comes along, and introduces a new sound, mixing big-band/jazz/swing
music with rockabilly. I think this sound could have easily been accepted by
the younger crowd, as it did with Rock n Roll in 1955, and it could have started
a new craze in music.
But thanks to Brian Setzer, he brought back a sound that was ignored for
many years.. Big-band music has always been entertaining, compared to the new
music heard today. Some artists such as Diana Krall and Harry Connick Jr. have
taken the traditional sounds of big-band jazz and refreshed that sound as how
it sounded originally. Yet Setzer mixed his experience with The Stray Cats'
rockabilly sound, and merged it by putting together a big-band sound to easily
match the visuals of the 1940s. Some said it wouldn't be popular... His orchestra
released two albums before it hit big with the Dirty Boogie, and their
performance at one of the Woodstock concerts was truly incredible.
Vavoom! is a very entertaining album... The Dirty Boogie was
truly exceptional, and Vavoom! may not have been as captivating as it's
predecessor, yet this release is truly enjoyable, and is a great musical
adventure in how music sounded like back in the 1940s, and the early years of
Rock n Roll.
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