January/February 1997

Jay McShann
I'm Just a Lucky So-and-So
Sackville

This is not, as might be expected, a blues collection. Rather, the selections are those habitually favored by singers and musicians with a penchant for songs that lend themselves to quiet, unassuming tempos, that lead in turn without exception to an effortless Teat. Here, the two main soloists, pianist Jay McShann and saxophonist Jim Galloway, have been inspired to produce memorable lyric versions of old favorites, with the help of bassist Don Thompson and drummer Terry Clarke. McShann, a classic blues singer, is not often heard swinging his head off on numbers like "Lucky So-and-So," "On a Clear Day," "Red Sails in the Sunset," "Lazy River" and "When I Grow Too Old To Dream." He demonstrates once more the value in jazz-and blues-of a distinctive, regional accent, and like Louis Armstrong he appears unable to hit a single note that doesn't swing. Galloway, of Scotland and Canada, is, but should not be, a real surprise as he vies with McShann on soprano and baritone saxes. He is a soloist to be reckoned with.
This unpretentious set swings from start to finish and is a charmer that demands repeated hearing. - Helen Oakley Dance

Originally published in January/February 1997
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