Jazz writer and archivist Michael Steinman, author of the Jazz Lives blog, has written a great review of the Mint Julep Jazz Band’s “Durham on Saturday Night!”
“The MJJB is a small hot group — well-versed in playing for dancers, so they set swinging tempos and stick to them. Their ensemble work is beautifully precise without being stiff, and they really understand the subtle mysteries of swing rhythm…one of their main inspirations is youthful Ella Fitzgerald and the small group out of Chick Webb’s band — The Savoy Eight — and they evoke that sound perfectly without turning out pale note-for-note copies of the records. I heard evocations of Sandy Williams and Sidney Bechet, but also Al Grey and Howard McGhee.”
“Laura’s got her own sweet style with a serious rhythmic underpinning…her rich voice reminded me of young Ella — that hopeful, wistful, asking-for-love quality — but she can turn corners at a fast tempo, as she proves on the CD’s closer, the band’s romping version of Lil Armstrong’s HARLEM ON SATURDAY NIGHT.”
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