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Swing, Swing, Swing

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Album Review

Nearing the age of 70, without a recording session in more than 15 years, Keely Smith returned on the heels of the '90s rejuvenation of swing music. Recorded for the Concord label, Swing, Swing, Swing does just what the title promises. Smith rips through 16 songs with barely a pause for breath, including plenty of swing standards ("Kansas City," "Jump, Jive 'An Wail," "On the Sunny Side of the Street," "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah," and the title track) as well as a few obscure songs and at least one new one ("Keely's Boogie"). The backing — by the Frank Capp Orchestra with arrangements by Dennis Michaels and Don Menza — is big, brassy, and more than enough to contend with Smith's surprisingly strong voice. Walking a very fine line between nostalgia and real innovation, Swing, Swing, Swing throws enough chestnuts to the younger audience to qualify as generational crossover, but never compromises the high-class swing that Keely Smith has always championed.


Born: 09 March 1932 in Norfolk, VA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Keely Smith is mostly known as the duet partner of Louis Prima, she took the straighter role in their raucous, just-this-side-of-parodical blends of jazz, jump blues, and Italian pop, on record and in their Vegas-oriented shows. Smith, however, was also a reasonably talented singer of straight pop material, although not in the same class as the leading female vocalists of the 1950s. Her most respected solo recordings are her earliest Prima-less outings, made for Capitol in the late '50s with orchestral...
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Swing, Swing, Swing, Keely Smith
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