"Put A Swing In Your Step is a memorable and hard-swinging album, that offers thoughtful and spirited treatments by musicians who really understand classic jazz."
Scott Yanow, Author of ten books including Swing, Classic Jazz, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76
For Chris Dawson and his friends inspired jazz improvisation is second nature. Nothing’s artificial, nothing’s forced or by the book. This quintet has a musical maturity where all swinging jazz is equal and equally worth cherishing. You’ll hear a flexible pulse we associate with the great small-group recordings. But this isn’t a repertory date; no one’s stuck in 1936. In the manner of players such as Ruby Braff and Dave McKenna, this jazz knows its past and creates a future all at once. And although music has the power to make us reflect on the sorrows we all face, this session is resoundingly happy – it echoes the reassuring pace of the steady heartbeat. Even when the lovely ballads depict shattered dreams, we admire the beautiful sounds. Listen to Hal’s Catlett-inspired brushes and rimshots, Denny’s impassioned strum, Christoph’s woody, speaking bass. And Dan Barrett is a jazz Midas, casually making everything golden. Chris says, “I felt really fortunate and lucky to have this band. This was my dream team.” At the keyboard, Chris never demands the spotlight, but his quiet subtlety, his unerring time, and emotional richness are compelling. Better yet, his left hand knows what his right hand is doing, and vice versa. Hear him support, cheer, and encourage everyone – his fellow musicians as well as listeners! And take note of all the nifty arranged intros, endings and key modulations which make this date more than a casual blowing session. For once, the title of this CD is accurate, truth in advertising: the music Chris and his gang create will uplift you on your daily rounds as no costly orthotics could. The glowing, generous sounds and textures here will resound in your ears long after the disc has ended.
Michael Steinman (http://www.jazzlives.wordpress.com).