Brown Cow Productions – 2015
13 tracks; 61 minutes
The Jimmys are a seven piece Wisconsin band who are fortunate to have three writers in the band and a three man horn section that propels these 13 tracks brilliantly so that the hour of the CD passes in the blink of an eye. Everything here is original, singer and keyboard man Jimmy Voegli being the main writer, aided by drummer Mauro Magellan on three tracks, and guitarist/vocalist Perry Weber also providing five songs. The rest of the band is John Wartenweiler on bass, Mike Boman trumpet, Darren Sterud trumpet and trombone and Peterson Ross sax and clarinet.
It is really hard to pick a winner amongst these tunes which are uniformly excellent. “Lose That Woman” is a head-on opener that takes something from the Ray Charles school of rockers with a latin flavour; Roomful Of Blues is a reference point for much of this sort of music and tracks like “You Say You Will” with Jimmy’s rolling piano and the superb horn arrangement or “I Wonder” with its easy swing arrangement could easily be lost Roomful treasures. Two instrumentals written by Jimmy provide the chance for the horns to take centre stage, first on on the infectious “Funk Schway” and then on the swaggering “Jacqui Juice”. Perry’s T-Bone style guitar starts his own “What Gives” and the growling trombone adds to the retro flavour of this swinger while “What Chur Doin’” has a completely different style of guitar and the trombone takes the main solo without the growl, further illustrating the variety the band is capable of offering.
Jimmy’s “Wrecking Ball” features his electric piano work on a song that recalls the sounds of Steely Dan to these ears whereas “Saddest Man” is a ballad with quiet guitar and background horns as Jimmy plays some fine piano before his vocal tells how he reached the point of the title: “My world is empty, no love to be found, I can’t live another day without my girl around. I’m the saddest man alive, won’t see my baby anymore; someday I’ll catch my heart, it’s already six feet in the ground”. Perry returns to the mike for the swinging “What My Baby Wants” on which saxophonist Pete Ross plays clarinet which further adds to that old-fashioned swing feel – terrific stuff! “She’s Wild” lives up to its title with pounding piano, wild sax and rock n’ roll guitar before the album closes with a second version of Jimmy’s “Freight Train” which, with two extra minutes, provides an extended coda for the horns to entertain us a final time.
If you enjoy Roomful Of Blues (can there be anyone who doesn’t?) try The Jimmys – you won’t be disappointed! Superb album.