By Bill Ellis
February 25, 2005
For that jazz cat lurking inside, try the following CD for some sophisticated purr-fection.
The five pros that compose the Jumpin' Chi-Chi's are a notable bunch: trumpeter/lead vocalist Reid McCoy; sax man Jim Spake; bassist Sam Shoup; keyboardist Tony Thomas, and drummer Tom Lonardo. It'd take a phone book, in fact, to list the sessions these locals have played on over the years.
But when it comes to simply cutting loose, they find collective fun as the Jumpin' Chi-Chi's, a jazzy quintet that, on its eponymous debut disc (self-released, ), aims to meet every Happy Hour mood. And that translates to a grab bag of self-penned, often ribald novelty numbers, from the jump blues of "322 Pearl Ave." (with its W. C. Fields-inspired lyrics) and Rufus Thomas-worthy funk in "Can't Get Down" to the Hawaiian-cast "Wicky Wacky" and a N'Awlins-meets-Bo Diddley vamp, "Let's Do Chi Chi." Virtuoso-delivered silliness has rarely sounded so good.