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Friday, January 20, 2006

SHIM SHAM REVUE

Shim Sham Review

A collection of jazz standards performed by New Orleans' drummer Ronnie Magri and a tight combo he put together for the short-lived Shim Sham Revue burlesque revival in the Crescent City (Magri and his combo also played for the more recent Bustout Burlesque). The selection is generally excellent -- slightly sexed up versions of "Moonglow" and "Mood Indigo," without the sort of bump and grind orchestration that typifies burlesque music. Magri instead relies on the original, essential sultriness of the songs, and they work well this way. Even without the visual stimulation of female pulchritude, the CD has an urbane, teasing quality that's damned erotic.

The recording's one failing is a cover of Big Maybelle's "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show" by singer Marci Hesseling. While the song itself is terrific, the singer is not up to the task, sounding less like a period blues singer than like the sort of brassy rock and roll belter that can be found on Bourbon Street any day of the week howling her way through Janis Joplin covers. One monkey might not stop no show, but one misplaced rock shouter sure can kill a romantic mood.

Buy it here.

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