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It Rocks! It Rolls! It Swings! - The Best Of The Treniers

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Album Review

Led by identical twins Cliff and Claude Trenier, the Treniers were a joyously crazed R&B group whose style suggested a middle ground between Louis Jordan's swingin' boogie and the more stylized approach of Ray Charles' early sides, but with less ballast and more frantic energy than both of those acts put together. While the Treniers released their first records through Mercury, the group's best recordings were cut for the Okeh label between 1951 and 1955, and They Rock! They Roll! They Swing!: The Best of the Treniers collects 15 classic sides from the Okeh vaults (among them their duet with baseball star Willie Mays, "Say Hey (The Willie Mays Song)," and the gotta-hear-it-to-believe-it "Poontang") along with five equally potent unreleased cuts. Whether they were chasing women, getting drunk on patent medicine, or simply celebrating their own monumental coolness, the Treniers were one group who knew how to get the party started, and They Rock! They Roll! They Swing! is both a fine introduction to their fine sounds and a fitting soundtrack for your next bash. All 20 tunes have been expertly remastered and sound great, while Nick Toshes (who wrote a superb appreciation of the Treniers in his book Unsung Heroes of Rock 'n' Roll) contributes informative and entertaining liner notes. This disc was reissued in 2004 on the Collectables label featuring nine bonus tracks not available on the 1995 Epic/Legacy version.


Formed: 1947

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Featuring twin brothers Cliff and Claude Trenier, the Treniers helped link swing music to rock & roll with their brand of hot jump blues in the late '40s and early '50s. To the latter-day listener, their early-'50s singles sound closer to swing than rock; indeed, Cliff and Claude had once sung with the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra. The group did anticipate some crucial elements of rock & roll, though, with their solid, thumping beats, their squealing saxophone solos, and their song titles,...
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It Rocks! It Rolls! It Swings! - The Best Of The Treniers, The Treniers
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