Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Pangman delivers a jazz style rarely heard these days, the early swing of the 30's before big band took over, and when there was still violin, and most importantly here, unamplified guitar.  Important, because the special guest is guitar gem Bucky Pizzarelli, who's been playing since the 40's, and fits this stuff like a glove.  There are echoes of Django, Grappelli, Cab Calloway, and sophisticated club jazz.

Pangman has a sassy voice, with the fun of those musical days coming through crisp and clear.  She can put a growl in the more swinging numbers, and bop along with the horns, race along with the guitar, and slide with the violin on the softer ones.  Most of all though, this is good-time music, with lively arrangements and lots of spirited moments from Pizzarelli and the rest of the fine players.

You'll recognize Stardust of course, there's a Fats Waller number, and maybe a couple of more if you have a good collection from the era, but for the most part these aren't the usual standards.  Her version of Jimmy Cagney's Shanghai Lil is a treat, a show-stopper that goes from a whisper to some big belting, and you can imagine the big dinner club where this would have been performed.   Best of all are the Pangman originals, four of the thirteen here, absolutely vintage in sound and lyric, and certainly of grand quality.  You'll think they were some Tin Pan Alley compositions you'd never heard before, right down to the "pitchin' woo" line in It Felt So Good To Be Bad, which could have been sung by a flapper of the day.  For those who think they don't make 'em like that anymore.

No comments:

Post a Comment