|PATRICK TEVLIN’S NEW ORLEANS RHYTHM—FEATURING HANNAH
KRAPIVINSKY (New Orleans North CD-012).
Playing time: 50m. 49s.
Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen*; Marahuana*; Fidgety Feet; Harbour Lights*; I Believe in
Miracles*; Just You, Just Me; Waiting at the End of the Road†; I Wish I Were
Twins*; Am I Blue?*; Exactly Like You*; Why Don’t You Do Right?*; I’ve Heard
That Song Before*; I’m in the Market for You; I’m Crazy ‘Bout My Baby*;
Personnel: Patrick Tevlin, trumpet, vocal†; Hannah Krapivinsky, vocals*; Reide
Kaiser, piano; Colin Bray, string bass.
Recorded at New Orleans North, Toronto, Canada, Apr. 22, 2011.
When I received this CD for review, I recognized the New Orleans Rhythm trio of
Tevlin, Kaiser and Bray, but the singer was new to me. Tevlin played reeds with
Kid Bastien’s band The Happy Pals, and, after Bastien’s death in 2003, took over the
band on trumpet. Kaiser and Bray are both members of Brian Towers’ Hot Five
Jazzmakers band in Toronto as well as other well-known groups there, and both
have recorded quite extensively. Bray also the founded the Classic Jazz Society of
Toronto in 1994 and has been its president since.
I had never heard of Ms. Krapivinsky, so after a little research, I discovered that she
is a Toronto native in her early twenties, who went to an arts high school in
Toronto. She sings with a band called Foxfire, which I had never heard of either,
and when I looked on the internet to see what kind of band it is, found that “Foxfire
fuses together a once-cherished disco sound with a bit of dance rock and a splash of
new wave—a disco rock sound.”
Somewhat apprehensive, I put the CD in the player and was very pleasantly
surprised. Krapivinsky is no blues shouter, but she is a fine singer. She has a warm
voice and great diction and control, and she uses her vibrato to enhance what she
delivers. In effect, she could well be a big band singer of the thirties, and that is
almost what she is on this recording; although the big band is lacking, the trio
suffices to back her. She has been singing with Tevlin’s group for the last several
Almost all of the selections are from the swing era, the thirties, only a few falling
outside that period: three of these by merely a year (1929)—Just You Just Me,
Waiting at the End of the Road, and Am I Blue?—the other two being Fidgety Feet
(1918) and I’ve Heard That Song Before (1942). All except Fidgety Feet, perhaps, can
be found in the repertoire of many swing bands.
Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, the first track, opens at the fast clip, and when Krapivinsky
began singing the verse, I held my breath as to whether she would get all the words
in, but that she did, making the chorus, which follows, seem a bit of a breeze. She
is succeeded by a stomping piano ride; then Tevlin comes roaring in with a muted
growl which also punctuates his solo, after which he gives nice background
obbligato to Krapivinsky’s closing vocal, leading into a kind of fade-out at the end.
This rocking version of the tune gets the CD off to a swinging start.
Since the second tune, Marahuana, is also reprised at the end, it might be expedient
to consider both versions here. The song is from the film "Murder at the Vanities"
(1934). Those who don’t recognize the Marahuana title might be more familiar with
its retitling in 1947 to Sweet Lotus Blossom to mollify those who objected to
“Marijuana” (the more usual spelling, perhaps). The first version opens
immediately with the vocal and is taken at a fairly brisk tempo. The second
contrasts with the first, opening at a slower tempo on piano accompanied by bowed
bass, setting a very sedate—even somber—mood, joined by trumpet, leading up to
the vocal. This tempo is the one I am more used to hearing for this song. Given the
subject, it seems the more appropriate one, since cannabis is not a stimulant.
While it would be a pleasure to comment on each of the tracks, space forbids that; so
here are what, for me, are some of the highlights. On Fidgety Feet, one of the few
tracks lacking a vocal, Tevlin plays an interesting variation on the stop time when it
is repeated in the second strain, playing the notes at half time. Following the piano
solo, Bray has a fine bass solo—a true solo uninterrupted by stop chords from
others. Just You, Just Me, another of the few instrumentals, opens with a nice
rendition of the verse (seldom heard) in what turns out to be half time, then on the
chorus the tempo doubles to the more familiar one for the rest of this tune. Why
Don’t You Do Right? is taken at a languorous tempo, Krapivinsky’s voice being
sultry here and suitably complemented by the muted trumpet and rhythm behind
her. I’m in the Market for You, a song I was unfamiliar with, is given a good outing,
especially on the piano solo where Kaiser supplies some fine right-hand filigree.
Lastly, I’m Crazy ’Bout My Baby, taken at a bright clip, sparkles from the opening
notes, Krapivinsky getting all the words in without straining. Kaiser displays some
nice stride in his solo spot.
Overall, then, this CD provides a very enjoyable trip back into the thirties and an
introduction to what will be a new voice, I would imagine, for most readers, as it
was for me. The group cooks on all of the selections. This album is recommended
to anyone who likes swing music or music that swings.
Like other New Orleans North CD’s, this one is issued in the simple sleeve format
and without liner notes. I am uncertain as to any distribution plans, but if one goes
to the web site www.tevlin.ca and then to 'CD page,' ordering details will be found.