Kit Packham’s One Jump Ahead: Everybody Loves A Boogie

The entertaining British jump-jive revival band ploughs the familiar furrow, offering cheeky covers and originals with occasional solos

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Formed in 1984, this UK group plays jump-jive in a bright and breezy, entertaining style, blended with R&B and vintage rock and roll, and seasoned with light-hearted humour. Leader Kit Packham sings confidently in appropriate style on every track bar one, and contributes alto and tenor to the backing throughout.

Packham also composed and wrote the lyrics for eight of the tracks and alternative lyrics for some cheeky adaptations of standards – My Swingin’ Valentine (an upbeat treatment of My Funny Valentine, which surprisingly works quite well) and the very funny Basingstoke (to the melody of Baby Face) and Buy A CD (with appropriate uninhibited bathos to My Way).

On the whole, the originals work well for the genre. Love Me, Love My Saxophone and I Dig Potatoes have amusing lyrics somewhat reminiscent of Louis Jordan and Slim Gaillard in style. Enjoyable versions of Don’t Get Around Much Any More, Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby and My Swingin’ Valentine, come closest to straightforward jazz treatment with some worthwhile brief solos and touches of arrangement.

The tracks come from sessions in 2009, 2017 and 2023, mainly as six or seven piece lineups it seems, but with changing personnels. Though studio recorded, the CD comes across as cheery live entertainment – for dancers, rather than perhaps for close, serious listening. But it’s certainly good fun, with some inventive fresh material, and a sense of humour to give a welcome lift to your spirits in these troubled times.


Discography
Everybody Loves A Boogie; Don’t Clap On The First Beat Of The Bar; Old Rock “n” Roll Songs Never Die; Don’t Get Around  Much Any More; Love Me, Love My Saxophone;  Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby; Route 66; Alley Club Blues; As Time Goes By; Alright, OK, You Win; Lockdown Chase; My Swingin’ Valentine; I Dig Potatoes; Basingstoke; Buy A CD; We Had A Real Good Time/We’ll Meet Again (53.52)
Collectively: Kit Packham (v, ts, as, bar, cl); Nick Tomalin, Perry White (p); John O’Reilly (g); Steve Knight (g, ts, bj); Alex Keen, Ollie Blanchflower (b); Derek Gayle, Kenrick Rowe (d); Simon Da Silva (t); Tracey Mendham (ts, cl). UK, 2009, 2017, 2023 (No further details.)
Pelican records PEL CD 523