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How Big Can You Get?: The Music of Cab Calloway

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's reputation as a pop star styled retro-jazz band has to be enhanced and authenticated by this homage to the leading commercial proponent of jump, jive, and wailing swing in the '30s and '40s, Cab Calloway. The band, with its solid horn section and half-crazed vocal cops channeled through the Hi-De-Ho Man by Scotty Morris is faithful to the core from the originals. Though the band does not do all of Calloway's big hits missing are "Viper's Drag," "St. Louis Blues," and "Kickin' the Gong Around," among many others, their selection of tunes is a delightful mix of favorites and some zingers, all well done in the style that made Calloway both revered ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's reputation as a pop star styled retro-jazz band has to be enhanced and authenticated by this homage to the leading commercial proponent of jump, jive, and wailing swing in the '30s and '40s, Cab Calloway. The band, with its solid horn section and half-crazed vocal cops channeled through the Hi-De-Ho Man by Scotty Morris is faithful to the core from the originals. Though the band does not do all of Calloway's big hits missing are "Viper's Drag," "St. Louis Blues," and "Kickin' the Gong Around," among many others, their selection of tunes is a delightful mix of favorites and some zingers, all well done in the style that made Calloway both revered and in some circles reviled. His overly dramatic songs are avoided, and fun is the operative word for these tunes that still are good to hear. Among the true blue covers: the definitive shuffle "Calloway Boogie" with the animated vocals of Morris, the energetic and stoned "Reefer Man," the easy swinger "Hey Now" with the band's vocal choruses, and the Gene Krupa bompity bomp beat tacked onto "Tarzan of Harlem." There are two versions of the all-time classic "Minnie the Moocher," one laid-back featuring growl trumpet, the other in a quicker mode with rhythms rolling along. "The Jumpin' Jive" is pretty typical, a stomp-down rhythm identifies the title track, and a horse-drawn clippity clop beat steadies "The Old Man on the Mountain," with phrases inserted similar to "Comes Love." It's clear that the band has always enjoyed these tunes and this era of jazz, and now that they have a bit of success under their belts, their desire to do a tribute close to their hearts is fully realized. Perhaps their March 2009 showcase on Dancing with the Stars playing vintage throwback swing also prompted this excursion way back to the roots. Their first recording in five years, it would seem Big Bad Voodoo Daddy have career longevity in mind, and a tribute to Louis Jordan, Slim Gaillard, or a second volume of Calloway's tunes would also be in order for a future project. This recording comes easily recommended to their fans and early period jazz lovers.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/21/2009
  • Label: Vanguard Records
  • UPC: 015707992527
  • Catalog Number: 79925

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Primary Artist
Lee Callet Track Performer
Bernie Dresel Track Performer
Nick Lane Track Performer
Ira Nepus Track Performer
Tom Peterson Track Performer
Lee Thornburg Track Performer
Alex Henderson Track Performer
Karl Hunter Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Group Member
Robbie Hioki Track Performer
Andy Rowley Baritone Saxophone, Vocals, Group Member
Scotty Morris Guitar, Vocals, Group Member
Joshua Levy Piano, Group Member
Dirk Shumaker Vocals, Acoustic Bass, Group Member
Kurt Sodergren Drums, Group Member
Glen "The Kid" Marhevka Trumpet, Group Member
Brian Swartz Track Performer
Anthony Bonsera Jr. Track Performer
Jim Fox Track Performer
Technical Credits
Cab Calloway Composer
Andy Gibson Composer
Irving Mills Composer
Buck Ram Composer
Andy Razaf Composer
Rube Bloom Composer
Dominic Camardella Engineer
Jack Palmer Composer
Tom Peterson Arranger, Adaptation
Steve Roberts Composer
Edwin Swayzee Composer
Victor Young Composer
Elton Hill Composer
Steve Genewick Engineer
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Audio Production
J. Russel Robinson Composer
Ted Koehler Composer
Henry Nemo Composer
Clarence Gaskill Composer
Lupin Fein Composer
Scotty Morris Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
Joshua Levy Arranger, Producer, Adaptation, Audio Production
Robert Hadley Mastering
Charlie Paakari Engineer
Joe Hoover Composer
Frank Frolba Composer
Allen Leroy Gibson Composer
George Brown Composer
Joel Hoover Composer
Elton Hill Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

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3 Star

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2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Doing Cab Calloway How Can You Go Wrong

    Listened to this on a road trip. Made the hour go by really fast and almost pleasant. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy knows how to do Jazz so it is fun and enjoyable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Cab would be so proud

    This is a superb tribute to Cab Calloway. It will make you feel 9 ft tall when you're 4.5. You cannot listen to this CD without smiling. If you've heard "Minnie the Moocher", you've got to hear what happened to Smokey Joe. "Jumpin' Jive" takes me back to my childhood (no, I'm not THAT old..my Mom was cool). And the rest of the songs are just as fabulous. It will amaze you to listen to BBVD and realize how few members there are in this band. They sound like a much bigger band. And their talent is just awesome. I'm a huge fan. I could listen to this over and over again (and I have).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews