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They Say by Alex Pangman

Alex Pangman is an incredibly young songstress from Toronto, Canada. At age 22, she must be truly the youngest of the "Red Hot Mammas". In this debut CD, Alex has drawn upon the "cream of the crop" of traditional jazz musicians in North America which she dubs "The International Swing All Stars" and with just cause.

Here's the lineup! Richard "Dick" Sudhalter on trumpet. Sudhalter's wonderful Bixian horn has been enjoyed by fans of 1920s and 30s jazz for a number of years. His work with The New Paul Whiteman Orchestra is legend.

On piano, from Washington, DC is the phenomenal John Royan who is better known for his work in New Orleans with the premier jazz and dance orchestras faithfully reproducing original music of the Crescent City.

On clarinet, the great Steve Mellor is a native of Great Britain and frequent visitor to Toronto and International Jazz Festivals. His enthusiasm will put goosebumps on your goosebumps.

On guitar, Canada's pride and joy, Jeff Healey. Jeff is known in rock circles all over the world. Here he returns to his first love, the jazz of the 1920s in which he is acknowledged as a world class historian and broadcaster. He plays on this CD in the 1920s style of Eddie Lang and others. SUPERB!!!

Bassist, Colin Bray is a self taught musician and jazz historian. He is very much in demand in the Toronto area and has guested with many bands in New Orleans. Colin has become a fixture with The Hot Five Jazzmakers who have drawn a faithful following at the "Cest What" club for years.

On drums, Steve Torrico who has led a 1920s style dance band for years. His command of the drum style of the period is unrivaled anywhere.

As an added treat, guitarist Healey, honors us with his trumpet work on "After You've gone".

Leader/vocalist, Alex Pangman, is just plain wonderful and treats the old chestnuts with the respect these tunes deserve. Very much in the tradition of such immortals as Annette Hanshaw, Ruth Etting and Connie Boswell, Alex just captivates. She sounds great at age 22 and I hope I live long enough to hear her when her young voice matures. She's gonna develop a growl that just won't quit! Wow!

I can't review this recording without mentioning the glorious tunes in this performance. Fifteen tunes appear on the CD including Sing You Sinners, Daddy Won't You Please Come Home, They Say, I'm One Hundred Percent For You, We Three, Let Yourself Go, I'll Never Say Never Again, Here We Are, No Regrets, Three Little Words, Moon Ray, and After You've Gone. Of special merit are the heartbreaking "Can't We Talk It Over" and "Without That Man", the latter being from the pen of my favorite composer, Walter Donaldson.

If you love this type of music or just want to know more about the 20s, buy this CD. You'll thank me for this review. I just know you will!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Alex Pangman
  • CD Title: They Say
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 1999
  • Record Label: Sensation Records
  • Rating: Five Stars
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