The Hotel Child
Artists Only! Records
New Orleans chanteuse Ingrid Lucia knows what boys want, too-the decidedly sudsy doe-eyed beauty frolics in a penthouse bathtub on the cover of The Hotel Child-but she downplays her sex appeal with a cool-jerk smirk and a detached Lady Day delivery (read: no garters, no cleavage, no tropical drinks). The ragtag Flying Neutrinos, Lucia's rhythm-and-horns backing band, is capable of jetting off toward various musical horizons, and while swing is always the starting point, the side routes are pleasantly diverse: "Mr. Zoot Suit" is traditional New Orleans hot jazz, "Violent Love" is speakeasy R&B and "Cry" has a hop-along country gallop and a weepy steel guitar, courtesy of Matt Munisteri. Lucia's vaudeville twists are flirty and fun, but the true star of The Hotel Child (the title was taken from an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story) is trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso, whose instrument has a Framptonesque mind of its own, running the gamut of emotions from bleating glee to sobbing despair.