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Album Review

The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group successfully updates the garden-pop sound of early Everything But the Girl and Aztec Camera on the wonderful Sniff. The vocal tandem of Ruiz and wife Stephanie together suggests a pairing between Chet Baker and Astrud Gilberto, complete with airy guitar textures and light bossa nova beats. The west coast jazz influence extends to "Bigfoot (I Remember Wes)," a tribute to Wes Montgomery, while a cameo appearance from French indie-pop star Katerine further underscores the album's cosmopolitan leanings. Suave and sophisticated, Sniff is that rare indie-pop album that's much more than the sum of its influences.


Formed: 1992

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Drawing on a vast tapestry of influences spanning from pop to soul to new wave to bossa nova, the Legendary Jim Ruiz Group was led by the self-same singer/guitarist Ruiz in tandem with his wife Stephanie. Debuting in 1995 with Oh,...
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Sniff, The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group
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