Jump With Joey

Jump With Joey

Swingin’ Ska Goes South of the Border

Will

Jump With Joey are legendary among ska musicians — they’re one of the most respected and beloved bands around. Unfortunately, though, their initial record deal saw their first three albums released only in Japan (though Ryko reissued them in the US a couple of years back), so they remained fairly obscure to all but the most devoted of enthusiasts. In fact, bandleader Joey Altruda became better known for his lounge side project, as heard in the movie Swingers .

Their new album, Swingin’ Ska Goes South of the Border , should please fans of both of Altruda’s projects. The band takes the ska groove that made them an underground legend and marries it to Latin jazz melodies for an irresistible combination. It’s a sound you may have heard ska bands like Los Hooligans and Mobtown do, but Jump With Joey did it first, and prove again why they do it best. There are some stomping Latin and ska dance numbers here (notably “Nuevo Ritmo Ska Cha Cha,” “Dancin’ Feet,” and my favorite, “Ska Train”), but the majority of the record has a cool, cocktail hour groove that might at first lull you into dismissing the record as background music, until you really listen to what the band is playing. Tracks like “Calafia,” “Fun at King King,” and “Uncle Ratso” are instrumental masterpieces just waiting to knock the serious listener on his ass — the skill these musicians display is nothing shy of incredible!

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Swnigin’ Ska to any fan of Joey’s work, fans if the lounge movement, or any ska fan that’s been curious as to what the buzz is about. Jump With Joey are the real deal!

Will Records, 1122 E. Pike Street, Suite 511, Seattle, WA 98122; http://www.willrecords.com

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