Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Live at Mona's by Mona's Hot Four

This month’s great find is Live at Mona’s, an album recorded this past winter at NYC’s club of that name on Avenue B between 13th and 14th

Listeners may not recognize the group Mona’s Hot Four by name but dancers will know pianist Gordon Webster, bassist Cassidy Holden, & clarinetist Dennis Lichtman from their solid work with NYC’s Cangelosi Cards. Add Nick Russo on Banjo and guitar and numbers like Temptation Rag are blistering freilachs of musical goodness. Much of the sound here is a more straight forward, fast paced trad jazz that’ll get your bal feet tapping. Most songs are too long for dancing (in the 5-7 minute range), but the performances are musical gems by an assemble that is tight and playing off each other perfectly

Vocalist Tamar Korn adds some of her folksy feel on versions of When You’re Smiling, Puttin’ On the Ritz, and Moonglow. Dan Levinson of the Nighthawks drops in to add clarinet on a few tracks and Jesse Selengut and Rob Adkins of Tin Pan add a great gritty blues feel to Ballin’ the Jack and Tishomingo Blues. You can expect to hear those two cuts when I DJ at upcoming blues gigs.

You can pick up your copy here:

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