Midwest Record Review…another rave for A Very Chaise Lounge Christmas

CHAISE LOUNGE/A Very Chaise Lounge Christmas:  Nothing beats a non gloomy Christmas down at the bar.  Lounging it up on originals and classics together, this is not strict 90s lounge revival sounds as the crew goes deeper into genre blending on their newest platter.  Easy rolling stuff that has lounge, pop, rockabilly, honky tonk and smatterings of other left of center sounds that show us what space age pop is like in the 10s.  As much as we loved them last time out, we love them even more now as this is a quasi-retro juggernaut of cool in top form.  It’s so groovy you can play it year round.  The hype sheet calls it an instant classic and they aren’t kidding.  Check it out.
Chris Spector – Midwest Record – midwestrecord.com

No one reviews the cover.. but they should

A Very Chaise Lounge Review

No one reviews the cover.. but they should

This just in from the esteemed jazz writer Ken Borgers (also a  DJ at KKJZ in Long Beach, and JazzKnob.org) A review of “A Very Chaise Lounge Christmas”

 “Chaise Lounge is a delicious, subtle, swinging ensemble that, to borrow a phrase from Duke Ellington, is beyond category.  Steve Allen’s hip “Cool Yule” and the Kay Starr hit “The Man with the Bag” will bring a smile to jazz fans, and “Mr. Santa” out-Chordettes the Chordettes.  There’s even a non-annoying version of Garrison Keillor’s least favorite holiday song, “Little Drummer Boy,” which someone should pass along to him as proof that in the proper hands, anything can swing.  Add a little rockabilly and a couple of reimagined classics and here, at last, is new music for the season!”

Chaise Lounge’s very own “Girl Singer” Ms. Marilyn, gets some very nice props

Chaise Lounge – Insomnia

Posted on May 13, 2012 by Doug Boynton

Trying to get the decks cleared before the next overseas trip.  Much to write about, and much to load onto the ‘pod for that 14-hour Pacific flight.

Chaise Lounge – Insomnia
(Modern Songbook)

Released – April 2012

This is a unique group of musicians – hell, they had me at the quote from Mr. Barnett – “We wear suits—it’s a stylish damn band.”  From somewhere between Washington (the right coast one) and Baltimore, the sextet describes themselves as fresh out of a 1962 recording studio.  Not just any recording studio, but the famed Capitol Recording Studios.

If you’re going to make the comparison, make it a good one.

Luckily, the band lives up to its hype on this disc of a dozen tunes – nine originals, plus Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Bali Ha’i,” Arlen and Harburg’s “If I Only Had A Brain,” and a version of “Ode to Billie Jo” that matches the band’s Marilyn Older channeling Bobbie Gentry’s voice.  Except imagine Blood, Sweat and Tears as the backing band.

The words and music for the originals come from Charlie Barnett, with a list of 50 credits as a film composer.  He’s able to craft lyrics (“Houdini”) like, “I need a man, not a magician | I’ve got the keys in the ignition.”

But it’s the skill of Ms. Older, whose charm comes from being able to throw off Mr. Barnett’s lyrical punchlines with the charm of a gifted straight man.  Feisty, but familiar, she’s everywoman, with great lines like “The truth is you’ll be bummin’ | cause you’ll never see it comin’ | I’m going to ruin your day.”

And that’s from probably my favorite track on the disc – the bonus track – the unlisted “I’m Going To Ruin Your Day,” which apparently isn’t available as a download, only on the physical CD.

Of it, Mr. Barnett says, “I just loved the idea of writing a waltz, not even a particularly hip jazz waltz, but an old-fashioned lovey-dovey-style waltz, and having it contain a lyric of true spitefulness. In the space at top of the score, to the left—where a composer usually writes something like “andante” or “slowly, with feeling” — I wrote ‘peevish.’”

And Ms. Older plays it beautifully.  Her charm comes from her style, warm and simple, able to handle not just peevish, but also the blues and a romantic ballad with class.  No wonder she was nominated as one of Washington DC’s best jazz vocalists.

Yes, it is.  In addition to Ms. Older, Mr. Barnett on Guitar and piano, Tommy Barrick on Drums, Gary Gregg on sax, clarinet and flute, John Jensen on trombone, and Pete Ostle on bass and tuba.

Class act, this.  Very highly recommended.