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Jay Walkin' by Jay Phelps
Released: Nov 2010
Label: Specific Jazz
American musicians have no trouble channeling '40s small-group swing and '70s electro-funk, but they seem to have largely abandoned the bebop period. Enter trumpeter Jay Phelps, a young Canadian who has assembled a crackerjack British band. People tend to remember the bopsters as searching artists, but they were also crafty entertainers. Phelps wisely follows in that tradition, offering up a firestorm of thundering rhythm and guest vocals, a gorgeous ballad with a string section (Basie's "Blue and Sentimental"), and "I Love My Mama," a hip shout-out to mothers the world over. Phelps and his band can work a room, be it neon-lit nightclub, jazz festival bandstand or concert hall.
Nick Dedina

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