Friday, April 6, 2018


They don't make like this anymore, except for this one. Toronto swing/jazz singer Pangman took her trio into a studio in New Orleans that specializes in antique gear and sounds, and recorded this seven song set onto an old 78 RPM cutting lathe, the way they did it back in the Dirty '30's. What you lack in fidelity is more than made up for in presence, as you really feel like you've been transported back in time. While the sounds are tinny and flattened out, the magic is in the skilled musicians making room for each other in the limited space, and the vibrant tone of the instruments cutting through the atmosphere.

Pangman chose several hot tunes, some of which have a bluesy feel, others a European sensibility. All three of her players handle solo work, passing the lead back and forth; mostly violinist Matt Rhody and guitar player Nahum Zoybel take spotlight, but for me bass sax player Tom Saunders is the key, handling the bottom end, always present and the counter to Pangman's singing. She's always a joy, whether it's today tech or this ultimate oldies gig, and takes this way past retro chic. It's really an appreciation for that whole style of music-making, and lets us realize new technology isn't better, it's just part of the package.

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