The RJ Spangler Band – Live At The Scarab Club Series – A Tribute To Louis Jordan | Album Review

The RJ Spangler Band – Live At The Scarab Club Series – A Tribute To Louis Jordan

Eastlawn Records

10 songs time – 48:35

Detroit drummer-bandleader RJ Spangler leads his band in a live tribute to Louis Jordan, “The King Of The Jukebox” R&B star from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. The band with its’ four piece horn section gives a good showing at replicating Jordan’s swinging sound. The two singers are first rate and the horns and guitar are given plenty of room for soloing. Dan Devins is the primary vocalist with an occasional assist from trombone player T-bone Paxton. They maintain the exuberance of the originals.

“Let The Good Times Roll” sets the bar for what comes after. Everything here is presented in an energetic and authentic fashion. Their interpretations of “Saturday Night Fish Fry”, “Choo Choo Ch’ Boogie” and “Caldonia” are particular stand out tracks. The latter includes a hipster spoken word section. “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out” contains a shorter spoken section. The arrangements and featured solo instrumental sections breath new life into the original versions.

The band pays a heartfelt tribute to an iconic contributor to the R&B tradition, the immortal Louis Jordan. As the old saying goes “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. Judging from the crowd reaction of the receptive audience there are still many Louis Jordan fans among us. It will be interesting to see if this ensemble follows up with a CD of their self-penned music. This band rivals any band in this genre of music.

What’s old is new again. It all sounds fresh and not strictly an imitation. Any lover of good music will find much enjoyment here.

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