Independent CD-3 (www.cadence-unplugged.com)
How is it that four men with no instruments play trumpet and snare so well? Is it not enough that the bang-on vocals and supremely crafted a capella arrangements and retro-stylings transport us nostalgically back to that era so cleverly reproduced on the “Hi-Fi” cover? Seriously, I’m thinking of asking these guys (who, by the way, offer school workshops) to teach our kids how to play an instrument without having to shell out the dough to purchase one! It’s easy to see why they have performed alongside Bobby McFerrin as well as being nominated for a couple of Junos and playing sold out concert halls across the land.
This album mixes new interpretations of classic Cole Porter, Van Heusen/Cahn, Lerner/Loewe with some great original tunes and even innovative arrangements of Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Paul Simon tunes. Don’t know if they’ve got some Louis Jordan songs up their sleeves but their keen sense of humour and rollicking fun remind me a lot of his good-time musical characterizations. All four, holders of music degrees (York, McGill), obviously studied History of the Rat Pack and its influence on social strata as well as Toward an understanding of be-bop cool.