We Swing – Chicago Gypsy Project (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

In a world always looking for the next new creative path, it is wonderful to come across a group of musicians happy to celebrate the past. Jazz has always been okay with that though, revelling in its own standards, classics and popular tunes and then re-exploring them and keeping them fresh through reinterpretation and fine-tuning to fit a new ear. And that is exactly what we have here with this seven track collection called We Swing.

So we have a septet of great songs re-embraced by a trio of amazing players to make one cool album. But enough of statistics! Picked for their popularity with the musicians playing them as they would have been with audiences and listeners back in their own day, what band leader and violinist, the excellently and exotically named Samuel Savoirfaire Williams, has done here is remind us that, perhaps, rather than always looking forward for the next sound or scene, rather than try to force a new genre together or hype up a flimsy musical idea, looking to the past is often much more rewarding.

If you think that jazz might not be for you, We Swing might be a good place to start. The music might be from the first half of the twentieth century but these new versions are perfect for the here and now. Go and buy a copy, broaden your mind, expand you horizons, diversify your record collection…you’ll thank me. You really will.

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