The Magnolia quartet is led by vocalist and song writer Myriam Swanson, whose varied influences include Bessie Smith, Dinah Washington, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. Her band’s performance is eclectic, combining elements of 30s Broadway, Cole Porter musicals, mainstream jazz, Latin jazz and rhythm & blues.
Outside the band, Swanson also specialises in singing early blues with guitarist Amadeu Casas and for several years she was the leading artiste in Barcelona’s Taboo-Burlesque Nights at the Sala Apolo.
Six of the 13 numbers on this likeable album are catchy originals composed by Swanson in collaboration with members of her band, particularly pianist Francesc Capella. The other seven are by writers including Nellie Lutcher, Shorty Long and Susan Heather, Hoffman and Manning, Arlen and Capote and the title track, This Joint’s Too Hip For Me by boogie woogie pianist and singer Betty Hall Jones.
Swanson has a remarkably expressive and versatile voice. In You Could Be My Next Mistake for instance, she sounds just like Billy Holiday. Throughout the album she is superbly supported by Capella on piano (who has accompanied Sheila Jordan, Johnny Griffin and Scott Hamilton), Paco Weht on bass and Xavi Hinojosa on drums. It’s a happy, uplifting and foot-tapping set – instantly engaging and maintains full interest throughout.
Burnt Toast And Black Coffee; It’s Easy To See; The Heart You Break; You Could Be My Next Mistake; Have You Ever Seen My Guy?; To Send My Love; Two Ladies In De Shade Of De Banana Tree; He’s A Real Gone Guy; Get Out The Door; Invisible; Bang Bang Boogie; This Joint’s Too Hip For Me; I’m Not Ready To Love (41.14)
Myriam Swanson (v); Francesc Capella (p); Paco Weht (b); Xavi Hinojosa (d). Barcelona 2019
Fresh Sound Records SA 038