Listening to Swing Expedition is like putting your IPod on shuffle. It's a swing record (mostly), but there are going to be some unexpected twists along the way.
With this latest release, Rory Hoffman solidly establishes himself as a multi-instrumental force, not easily matched.
Amply demonstrated here are his skills on guitar, piano, accordion, organ, saxophone, clarinet, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, bass, percussion, even autoharp and Jews Harp, along with inventive arrangements and clever improvization.
Also featured on this album are three original compositions, ranging from the melancholy ballad "Another Night", to the New Orleans inspired "It's so Easy" and "Obligatory Blues" evoking the whimsical flair of Thelonious Monk.
While grounded in the classic sounds of America's golden age, the variety of instrumentation and arrangement ensures a fresh and intriguing listening experience.
When I started this project 4 years ago, I didn't know I was making a record. I was just recording some ideas I wanted to try in my spare time. Eventually, I did enough of these experiments that I decided I might have the makings of a record. It's definitely a departure from my Gospel and country music heritage, though traces of those roots can still be heard. My hope is that you will enjoy exploring some of the paths my musical imagination has wandered.
On many of these songs, I did everything myself: created the arrangement, played all the instruments and engineered the recordings. I had help from Dave Martin (upright bass) and Tommy Wells (drums) on Another Night, Autumn Leaves, Avalon and Obligatory Blues.