Echoes of Swing is the name of an international musical group consisting of alto saxophonist Chris Hopkins, an American living in Germany; trumpeter/vocalist Colin Dawson, a Brit; pianist Bernd Lhotzky a German with a French background, or is it vice-versa; and drummer Oliver Mewes a native of Germany.
Personal note: I have had opportunity to hear Chris Hopkins and Bernd Lhotzky perform at the Arbors Piano Jazz Parties so I am already a fan of this group.
This group combines the styles of small-group combos of the ‘20s and ‘30s with modern techniques with wonderful toe-tapping result. There is a mix of jazz standards with their own compositions. I’m also a fan of classics which are “swung.” Three examples of this style are “Butterfly Chase” based on a Chopin Etude, Fritz Kreisler’s “Liebesleid: and Shostakovich’s “Gavotte.”
Track listing: Shake it and Break it, Message from Mars, The Ghost of Marsden Grotto; Don’t Explain, Butterfly Chase; Goon Drag, Delirium, His Honour and the Vermin, Moonlight Fiesta, Liebesleid, Twilightnin’ Hopkins, Don’t Save Your Love for a Rainy Day, Odeon, Bughouse, Spring is Here and Gavotte.
This group has recorded a several CDs and some of the artists have recorded separately with other well-known artists. For example pianist Lhotzky has recorded with piano giants Ralph Sutton and Dick Hyman. And, whereas Chris Hopkins plays alto sax on the currently-reviewed recording, he has recorded duo-piano with Dick Hyman.
The CD is available through the usual sources, including Amazon. For further information see www.Echoes OfSwing.com.
Review by: Norman Vickers