Brian Setzer Orchestra - Jump Jive An' Wail: The Very Best of the Brian Setzer Orchestra

The Brian Setzer Orchestra

Jump, Jive, an‘ Wail: The Very Best of
The Brian Setzer Orchestra


First Appeared at The Music Box, August 2003, Volume 10, #8

Written by T.J. Simon


Brian Setzer has made a name for himself by living in the past. He gained notoriety in the 1980s as the leader of the rockabilly revivalist band The Stray Cats. Following a couple of moderately well received solo efforts, Setzer reinvented himself as the front man of a jump blues orchestra bearing his name and trademark guitar sound. The timing was perfect as his foray into big band music coincided with the swing dance fad of the 1990s. For the better part of a decade, The Brian Setzer Orchestra (BSO) released four albums, won two Grammys, toured the world, and provided the soundtrack for a Gap commercial as a new generation learned the Lindy Hop. Now, 23 of BSO’s best tracks have been culled from these four outings to create a comprehensive and likable collection titled Jump, Jive an‘ Wail: The Very Best of The Brian Setzer Orchestra (1994 – 2000).

The dichotomy of a Glenn Miller-styled jumpin’ jazz orchestra led by the punky, tattooed Setzer always made for a great visual, and BSO is a talented collective of musicians featuring a 13-man horn section that supports Setzer’s distinctive guitar and vocals. The album begins with the campy Pennsylvania 6-5000 then segues into Setzer’s acclaimed take on Louis Prima’s Jump, Jive, an‘ Wail. Cover songs share space with re-workings of Setzer originals including mainstays like Mack the Knife and Americano as well as big band versions of the Stray Cats’ classics Rock this Town and Rumble in Brighton. Other highlights include revisions of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s The House Is Rockin‘ and Queen’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Overall, the collection is a polished and enjoyable affair that effectively captures another chapter in Setzer’s backward-looking career. starstarstarstar

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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


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