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Kevin O’Donnell’s Quality Six: Heretic Blues

Kevin O’Donnell’s Quality Six blends the clean bliss of jump-swing with the brassy sounds of hot jazz-and keeps the throwback zaniness to a blessed minimum. Andrew Bird is around with his goofy phrasing and gypsy-camp violin screech, but drummer O’Donnell, penning six of Heretic Blues’ 14 songs, keeps the nutty Bowl of Fire frontman relatively anchored in the here and now. While O’Donnell gives himself plenty of solo time on the skins, the real star here is Chicago alto sax dynamo Chris Greene, who threads each tune with high-octane uplift. First cut “Moten Swing” is a breakneck burner with star turns by each band member, and a cover of Gershwin’s “Oh! Lady Be Good” is a sweat-inducing USO hellraiser.

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