The Hot Toddies Jazz Band: The Hot Toddies Jazz Band

Vocal-led NY combo plays period swing and R&B with strong trombone and trumpet solos, the latter reminding of Hot Lips Page

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The recording of this debut album commenced in 2019, soon after the group was formed. Interrupted by the pandemic, the project was completed in 2022, identifying with the hot jazz and vintage swing of the prohibition era.

Headed by spirited vocals, the group’s upbeat rhythm and entertaining style ideally suit live venues and dancing. In addition, the fresh well-planned arrangements and efficient solos reward attentive listening. Vocals are featured on every track except co-leader Terracciano’s riffing upbeat swing-styled composition, Kilowatt Stomp, and Blue Drag, a standard from 1932. Both tracks feature sprightly swing violin in the Venuti school.

Most vocals are covered by Hannah Gill and Queen Esther, differing in style but both assured and warmly expressive. Co-leader and drummer Patrick Soluri is secure at the helm in a well-integrated rhythm team, with significant contributions on guitar and vocals from the versatile Justin Poindexter. In a field of capable soloists, seasoned veterans trombonist Ron Wilkins and reedsman Dan Levinson stand out. Wilkins’ very feisty style, together with trumpeter Alphonse Horne’s growling trumpet (think Hot Lips Page) combine with Poindexter’s wailing guitar to boost exciting ride-outs to Kansas City and Saint Louis Blues, making an effective R&B insert to the varied repertoire.

Now successfully active in some top NYC venues, the band was due for its debut at the prestigious Lincoln Centre in July this year, where I’m sure it went down well. A couple of extra tracks, upbeat perhaps, to extend and swing out the album would have been welcome. Maybe next time; hopefully soon.


Discography
Digga Digga Do; Love Me Or Leave Me; I Wanna Be Like You; Kansas City; Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You; Kilowatt Stomp; Saint Louis Blues; Blue Drag; When I Get Low I Get High; Mean To Me; I’m In The Mood For Love (42.10)
Collectively, Hannah Gill, Queen Esther (v); Gabe Terracciano (vn, v); Alphonso Horne, Jon Seiger (t); Dan Levinson, Danny Lipsitz (reeds); Ron Wilkins, J. Walter Hawkes (tb); Gordon Webster (p); Justin Poindexter (g, v, bj, org); Brandi Disterheft, Ian Hutchison, Wallace Stelzer (b); Patrick Solusi (d). NYC, March and August 2018, February and July 2022.
Prohibition Productions