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Album Review

On his 100th album, Jimmy Sturr, the polka man on a mission, succeeds in honoring the basic traditions of polka music while broadening its appeal. The songs and influences vary, but the underlying spirit and strength of the music remains. This time out, guests include the Oak Ridge Boys, (polished and professional as usual) Flaco Jimenez, the Jordannaires, and the Rocco Sisters. The recording starts out strong with two big band sounding polka tunes, "Make Mine Polka" and "My Dot Polka." Four of the remaining cuts are instrumentals, and all are played with an effervescent spirit and solid musicianship. Of particular note is "E String Polka," which begins with fast-paced country fiddle before transitioning into more traditional polka instrumentation. Another cut which combines two styles is "Borracho #1," bridging the gap between the Jimmy Sturr style and the Tex-Mex style of polka (featuring an excellent accordion solo by Flaco Jimenez). The only two cuts which seem subpar are "May All Your Dreams Come True" and the good time staple "Wasn't That a Party." The former is a waltz that goes a little too far into schmaltz territory (though sentimentalists may love it) and the latter suffers from too generic an arrangement. But, overall, this is a very good recording and should be enjoyed by those who enjoy first-rate dance music and can leap beyond the stereotype of polka music being only for the gray-haired generation.

Dance With Me, Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra
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