Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
"Jump For Joy"
Blind Pig Records
by Dick Houff
Review date: March 2001
1999 KBA Award Winner|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by the Blues Foundation
Do you remember those "God Awful" swing commercials for corporate squares pushing their products, and the so-called "SWING CRAZE?" I actually had to retire my two-tone shoes that I had been wearing for the last 30 years. Now that it's dying down, I can once again hop into my beloved footwear. Jump blues has been around for years, and you don't have to be a "Rhodes Scholar" to know what I'm talking about. Mitch Woods has been playing jump for years. I caught onto his infectious sound in 1984, when Blind Pig released "Steady Date." During my relocation to the West Coast back in '69, it wasn't long before I discovered the clubs that catered to jump and boogie. The local rockers borrowed and traded licks directly influenced by notables such as: Louis Jordon, Amos Milburn, Roy Milton, and Lowell Fulson (check out
the Chess Records story on Fulson. His best sides came out of Chess, but they just couldn't seem to figure out his unique sound). Of course, there are a lot of copycats putting on the style, but Mitch Woods isn't in that category. I've been a big fan of his work from the beginning. For one, he writes most of his own compositions. And this new platter is no exception. On this very cool outing, Mitch added a double horn section and pays homage to Cab Calloway—I don't know a living soul that can honestly say, Cab doesn't grab you. Woods goes full-speed-ahead right from the start with: "Jump In The Groove And Go." Man, if you can't dance, I know you can shake and clap your hands for joy! Give it a listen—Mitch and company can put a smile on a Brooklyn traffic cop in rush hour! He follows along the same path with "Swingin' At The Savoy," "Jive, Mr. Boogie," and keeps the pace going through 12 choice cuts. Incidentally, my chair got a hell of a workout penning this review—stereo volume maxed with a whole lot of speaker
bounce—I think they were dancing! Top honors for Woods.
This review is copyright © 2001 by Dick Houff, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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