Review by John Stevenson
It’s always refreshing to be reminded of the terpsichorean origins of jazz. There was a time when after the bandleader counted off “one-two, a-one-two-three-four”, everyone knew it was time to dance and time to swing.
Trombonist and vocalist Jeff Bush and his top-notch bandmates go back to the golden age of swing on this excellent outing, calling to mind the good old days of fancy dance steps like the Charleston, the Lindy Hop and the Carolina Shag. He has drunk deeply at the fount shared by the great swing ‘bone players, notably Jack Teagarden, JC Higginbotham, Laurence Brown and Benny Morton.
From the opening number, Cahn and Styne’s Its been a Long, Long, Time, to the Cab Calloway-popularised Emaline, and notable chestnuts such as Benny Goodman’s Seven Come Eleven and Rose of Washington Square, listeners are in for a good old ‘retro’ treat.
A feel-good vibe is keenly felt throughout. Multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson performs on clarinet and C melody saxophone, guitarist James Chirillo plays tender strains on Someday Sweetheart, while Matt Hughes and Kevin Dorn keep the rhythmic engine purring at optimum on bass and drums respectively. Pianist John Colianni comps with authority on the title track, a bluesy Bush original.
Bush, from Apollo, Pennsylvania, is an adjunct music instructor at Virginia Wesleyan College. He has played trombone in a wide variety of genres – as part of the Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Vanguard Jazz Orchestras, with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and as part of the Temptations.