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George McClure - Playboy Swing Review

by Gary Schwind

The album begins with the title track, which is not only a great title but a great description of the sound of the song. It is definitely a swingin' tune with big horns and cool vocals.

The title track is followed by "Mass Grass," which is a real interesting tune. It includes some definite bluegrass influence with the banjo and guitar. It also features a soprano sax and piano reminiscent of Vince Guaraldi. "Mood Time" is another song that combines elements of country (Bakersfield twang) with jazz so mellow it almost seems more like classical.

"Mis Pensamientos" is a sort of mariachi song in which McClure sings half in Spanish and half in English. It is a very mellow tune but I think the vocals could be bigger on this one to give it more of a feeling of a romantic canciσn.

"Dia de Los Muertos (The Matador)" is an instrumental tune that very much puts you in mind of a bullfight. It features saxophone, trumpet and traditional flamenco style guitar. This song would be great in a film.

After another cocktail tune ("Champagne Saturday"), McClure includes two poems. I'm not going to criticize his ability as a poet. In fact, I think he's quite a wordsmith. I will say this though, the two spoken-word poems don't really fit with the mood of the rest of the CD. The CD moves along, genre-hopping from jazz and country to Latin sounds, then it comes to these two spoken-word poems. They seem a little out of place.

McClure finishes the CD with reprises of "Playboy Swing," and "Mass Grass" on either side of"Across the Alley." These are good tunes, but I'm not sure why he decided to include each of these two songs twice on the CD.

Overall this is a very solid CD. I like how McClure moves so easily from one sound to another. This album easily appeals to fans of jazz, Latin and people who like a little twang in their music. And I'm not going to lie to you, a few of these tunes will make you feel like you should have a cocktail in your hand. I think the ending of the album could be a little stronger, but "Playboy Swing" is definitely worthwhile.

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George McClure - Playboy Swing


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