Vintage Swing Review
The new twelve track album from Denver’s Joe Smith & The Spicy Pickles is titled “High Fidelity” which alludes to the band’s detailed commitment to authenticity. From the vintage instruments utilized and inclusion of their theme song, to the all original compositions and innovative arrangements, The Spicy Pickles remain steadfast and faithful to the original period flavor of swing while at the same time creating authentic new music formulated into a modern, high impact sound.
Favorite track: Benny's Blues.
Denver-based vintage jazz group Joe Smith & The Spicy Pickles present their second full length album, and fourth overall release, "High-Fidelity", an album of all original swing music inspired by the classic small group sounds of the late 30’s and early 40’s. The concept behind “High-Fidelity” is to provide a smart recording of new, danceable tunes for the swing and blues communities. The album aims to give dancers and listeners alike more of what they love, but haven’t heard before. The band leader and self-admitted purist, Joe Smith, deliberately cut out all of the excessive noise that detracts from the album’s primary objective: delivering quality music. Devoid of crowd funding, pretentious artwork, and politics, the music speaks for itself. With the debut of “High Fidelity”, the Pickles bring forth the band’s identity. They do not intend to merely mimic the greats, but aspire to create new tunes that celebrate the refined spirit of pre-war swing and entertainment. Written with historic acumen in composition, arrangement, tempo, rhythm, and sound quality - along with true vintage instruments and set-up - the band crafts an accurate and authentic sound that reintroduces American swing to a new generation.
As a group, the band honed their recording process and musicianship to provide a pristine sound that is decidedly unique. The album opens and closes with the band’s theme song “Slow Cookin'” in an homage to the big band era’s days of radio shows. “The Pen is Mightier” pays tribute to the small group Goodman sound featuring a melody played by Elijah Samuels on clarinet, Joseph Chudyk on vibes, and Al Scholl on guitar. Featuring Prescott Blackler on trombone and Adam Sammakia on bass, “The Baltiquerque Stomp” is a fast, driving number with a nod to early jazz. "Benny's Blues" is an ode to current New Orleans trumpet player, Ben Polcer, and “It's Alright for a Night” pays tribute to Cole Porter. The band takes inspiration from Billy Strayhorn and the Duke Ellington Orchestra for “The Gherkin Train”, which features Elijah Samuels on tenor sax. All tracks on the album were composed and arranged by horn players, Elijah Samuels, Prescott Blackler, and Joe Smith.
released July 7, 2015
Joe Smith - Trumpet
Prescott Blackler - Trombone
Elijah Samuels - Clarinet and Tenor Sax
Al Scholl - Guitar
Joseph Chudyk - Drums (and vibes on The Pen is Mightier)
Adam Sammakia - Bass
Recorded by Colin Bricker at Mighty Fine Productions in Denver, CO
Produced by Joe Smith
Mixed by Joseph Chudyk and Prescott Blackler
Mastered by Nick Moon at Tone Proper Studios in Portland, OR
Joe Smith & the Spicy Pickles is a vintage jazz band devoted to revitalizing swing music and dance. This small group swing
band packs a punch of power, personality, and wit into each show with the beloved charm of big band swing from the 1920's-1940's. The Pickles bring it all – high energy, quality musicianship, and an authentic sound and look that celebrates the unique American spirit of swing....more