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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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with the Antonio Ciacca Quintet

Sweet Lou's Blues




Malcolmís Song

Every Day I Fall in Love

Those Lagos Blues

Call Him Blackjack

Letís Go Driftiní

Nancy with the Laughing Face

The Baron

Be My Mamacita

Sweet Luís Blues

Sweet Lu Olutosin (vocals): Antonio Ciacca (piano): Jeremy Pelt (trumpet): Tivon Pennicott (sax, flute): Mike Karn (bass): Kerome Jennings (drums)

Recorded Tedesco Studio, Paramus NJ [46:29]

Sweet Lu Olutosin is a dapper dresser with an elegant line in headwear. He cuts something of a retro figure, tie tightly knotted and hands nonchalantly thrust into his trouser pockets. His music, too, mines timeless style drawing on pieces by such as Herbie Hancock, Donald Byrd and Joe Henderson. But his collaboration with pianist Antonio Ciacca, three of whose pieces are also represented in this 46-minute album, shows wider collaborative intentions.

A policeman for fully 35 years, Olutosin has a warm voice that cleaves close to the kind of phrasing and vocalising established by Al Jarreau and Joe Williams in years gone by. Crafting lyrics onto established instrumentals is nothing new but he does it well in this album and in so doing one finds, for instance, that Malcolmís Song features something of a Horace Silver ensemble sound with a stand-out performance by saxophonist Tivon Pennicott. Iíve heard him recently on another disc and heís a consistently fine player with a strong future. His flute playing is laudable too. Those Lagos Blues, a co-composition by singer and pianist-leader Ciacca is finely done with its Blue Note sound, and swinging trumpet (Jeremy Pelt).

Olutosin sets words to Dexter Gordonís solo on Hancockís Letís Go Driftiní where Ciacca shows some fine chops. Best to pass in silence over the scat singing unwisely unveiled on Call Him Blackjack, the albumís least entrancing moment. A much more representative song is The Baron, another co-composition between singer and pianist, in which the Blue Note vibe is once again established. Be My Mamacita is a chic, hip swinger and the final track, Sweet Louís Blues, is a testament to this tight swinging alliance of band and singer Ė with especially fine tenor, fine bass support by Mike Karn and crisp trumpet from Pelt.

It brings to a close a pleasing disc; nothing fancy or earth-shattering, but solid vocalising and playing are guaranteed.

Jonathan Woolf

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