A breed of melodic themes synonymous with such pop icons as the Andrew Sisters, West Side Story, and ’50s sock hops are refurbished and revamped on Chaise Lounge’s new CD Dot Dot Dot from Songbook Records. Produced by the band’s leader Charlie Barnett, the jazz sextet takes audiences on a fun romp along Dot Dot Dot canvassing a spectrum of vintage jazz motifs swathe in flowering clarinet flicks and jumping trombone toots performed by Gary Gregg and Joe Jackson respectively.
Marilyn Older’s vocals have the sassy attitude of Kristen Chenoweth and the sensuous voicing of Broadway showtunes maven Rachel York. Older breathes new life into jazz novelties like “Old Man River” written by Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin’s “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” both spruced up with a contemporary polish.
The storytelling tone of Older’s vocals in “The Coolest Car” is powered by a Dixieland hop in the meter and bolsters a catchy New Orleans bopping rhythm in “It’s Always You” spiked with a touch of funk in the fleet of horns and handclapping beats. The band’s rendition of “Cool” from West Side Story revamps the novelty tune adding the sweet nectar of Older’s vocals.
The Dixieland shuffle scoring “I Just Want All of My Stuff” puts a jolt of peppiness into the story about a divorced couple. The album turns to a Roaring ’20s quick step in Irving Berlin’s “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” then infuses a sultry brogue in Gregg’s tenor saxophone embalming “The Best Part of My Losing Streak” with a sleek smokehouse style wail which jettisons into the boogie woogie strut shaping the title track with ’50s sock hop treads.
Paulo Conte’s tune “Via Con Me” has an upbeat tempo liken to the whisking swells of swing jazz indicative of the music featured in Mae West’s films. “Stereo Check Out” is a prelude to “I’m Always Waiting on You” opening with an announcer addressing the audience in a way that’s reflective of the master of ceremonies from radio’s early days. The tunage in the track has a kindred spirit with Paul Whiteman’s arrangements layered in a harmonious rapport between the horns and rhythm section.
The sensual slide of the horns ruminating across “Seňor Hueso” has a ballroom glitter which moves into the bluesy tanginess of “Little Blue Man” wielding brushed drum strokes and expressive piano patterns. The narrative voicing in Older’s presentation through “Split in Two” emotes stark vulnerability. Changing direction, the band puts springs in the carriage of Jerome Kern’s classic number “Old Man River” as the horns blow with revelry in its swirls.
The 6-piece Chaise Lounge immerse themselves in classic jazz phrasing, contemporizing the passages and imprinting standards with the band’s signature branding. The band pays homage to their predecessors while inspiring their own generation to appreciate the sounds of Dixieland jazz, boogie woogie and swing circa the Roaring ’20s. With six albums previously recorded, Dot Dot Dot cements Chaise Lounge’s placement as torchbearers of vintage jazz and engineers of modern swing.
Charlie Barnett – guitar, piano, and tenor banjo, Tommy Barrick – drums, Gary Gregg – tenor saxophone and clarinet, Joe Jackson – trombone, Marilyn Older – vocals, and Pete Ostle – bass
The Coolest Car, It’s Always You, Cool, I Just Want All of My Stuff, Let’s Face the Music and Dance, The Best Part of My Losing Streak, Dot Dot Dot, Via Con Me, Stereo Check Out, I’m Always Waiting on You, Seňor Hueso, Little Blue Man, Split in Two, Old Man River