|While many people might think swing is so “yesterday,” it is not so for the Lindy
Hoppers of today who are into “retro” everything (music, clothes, etc.). They love to
dance to the music of the 30’s, and they also find the music of the 20’s and even earlier
quite congenial. I have seen them fill the floor all night to dance to a 20’s New Orleans-
style band at a retro dance club.
The swing trio backing vocalist Hannah Krapivinsky here also plays at such affairs.
Although the CD was recorded in a studio, leader Patrick Tevlin informed me that
“The cover photo is from the swing dance in Toronto, for which we play quite often.”
Ms. Krapivinsky and the others have done their homework, and the results are very
satisfying. Each track contains a vocal, and the young lady sounds much like the
singers of the big band era. She can make the lyrics sparkle (And the Angels Sing;
Apple Blossom Time) or play the sultry siren (La Vie en Rose—sung in French; Stars
Fell on Alabama) and everything between. Her timing and her intonation are on the
mark, and her vibrato is just enough, asserting itself mainly at the end of a phrase.
While not exactly “Ella-esque,” her scatting on Heebie Jeebies comes off quite well.
As for the trio, it is well balanced. Tevlin supplies a nice lead, never trying to blow
down the back wall, and his obbligatos when Ms. Krapivinsky sings are thoughtful
and tailored to her delivery. Evin’s piano drives on the faster tunes, his two-fisted
block chording propelling the group without rushing the tempo. Lastly, Gadke on
bass provides a solid bottom for the others, but he is not averse to a solo now and
While most of the tunes will be familiar—at least to those of us who are older than the
current Lindy Hopper generation—a few may not be. The title track, When I Get Low
I Get High, one of the so-called “reefer songs,” is probably one. It is difficult to find
out exactly who wrote it—it seems certain that Marion Sunshine, a vaudevillian and
later actress, wrote the words and is often credited with the music, but nothing seems
definite. Perhaps the sheet music would clear things up if it were available. Another,
the second song, Bread and Gravy, falls into the less-than-familiar category, although
it was written by Hoagy Carmichael. Finally, Walking after Midnight, written by Alan
Block and Donn Hecht, may be more familiar to those who follow country music as
well, since it was recorded by Patsy Cline.
The others, several being ballads, will most likely not cause eyebrows to become
knotted, and while some are not from the 30’s, they fit quite well with those that are,
making for a program that should satisfy anyone who likes music that swings and
does not deafen the listener. No need for earplugs here. My only quibble is that I
think a few more tracks would have been in order, as the playing time of under 45
minutes is a bit on the skimpy side.
The physical CD and download are available from www.tevlin.ca , and the download
is on iTunes too. It is available for streaming on www.rdio.com .