Review: Laura B and the Moonlighters – Jump and Shout

Posted on: Sunday, Feb 7, 2010

LAURA B & THE MOONLIGHTERS

“JUMP AND SHOUT”

(El Toro Records: El Toro R&B 207)

Laura B & The Moonlighters are a seven-piece UK retro swing and blues combo, and this great album delivers, in the words of the album’s sub-title, ‘fourteen classic rhythm & blues jumpers & shouters’ – all impeccably played and great fun as well – and recorded live in the studio to capture the band’s live sound.

The band comprise Laura B (vocals), Paul Richardson (drums), Henri Herbert (keyboards), Steve Ball (double bass), Barry Few  (trumpet), Alex Bland (baritone saxophone) and Evan Jones (alto and tenor saxophone) – the seasoned players, from many top retro bands, lock into the music behind Laura B’s sultry and enchanting vocals. The band don’t have a guitarist, most rare these days, but for sure, the music doesn’t suffer.

The opening “No Mama No Papa” sets the pace – the swinging horns, driving rhythm section and sweet vocals from the lady herself; the following “As Long As I’m Moving” is similarly paced, before the gospel feel of “Act Right”. Henri Herbert’s sparkling piano is to the fore on the rockin’ “Beer Bottle Boogie”, with the three man horn section absolutely terrific on this – indeed, as they are throughout.

The much-covered “That’s A Pretty Good Love” takes the band into jazzy territory, with some glorious trumpet from Barry Few; “Comes Love” is also in the same jazz-flavoured area, a nice smoky vocal from Laura B here, leading into the swing of the title cut, “Jump And Shout”, with the band firing on all cylinders!

Henri Herbert – also holding down the piano chair with The Cadillac Kings at the moment – displays some of his legendary boogie woogie on “Down By The River”, then switches to some tasteful organ on possibly the album’s highlight, the quite beautiful ballad, “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye”, from the pen of John D. Loudermilk.

The album ends on a joyous note with the inspirational “On Revival Day” – with a sort of gospel meets Dixeland feel – a fitting end to a most enjoyable release from a fine British band, led by a marvellous singer – this comes highly recommended for those who love their retro music.

GRAHAME RHODES

www.myspace.com/laurabandthemooonlighters

www.eltororecords.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxygBePz3TQ

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