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Wednesday April 16, 2014
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Phil Ogilvie's Rhythm Kings

 

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hanging from his or her music stand as a badge of shame and dishonor, for having besmirched an otherwise perfect sound."

It's a small touch, but it indicates the lengths to which P.O.R.K. will go for authenticity. More significant, the ten-piece band duplicates the standard instrumentation of the early jazz big bands, plays mostly unamplified as they did, and even reads the same arrangements those bands played in ballrooms and on recordings.

But authenticity is not all P.O.R.K. is after. Sure, these musicians play with scholarly accuracy, but this was exuberant, lighthearted dance music, and P.O.R.K. really swings with that spirit. Formed four years ago, with a steady gig early Sunday evenings at the Firefly Club and concerts at many other venues and festivals, P.O.R.K. is finally releasing its first CD. We'll now be able to enjoy, whenever we want, the sounds to which our great-grandparents danced the fox-trot and the Charleston in the Roaring Twenties.

The CD kicks off with the title track, "Rhythm Club," the only tune not from the period. It's a Dapogny original, but I defy anyone who isn't a musicologist to distinguish it from the standards of the day. Dapogny's expert hands — playing and arranging — are evident throughout the recording, as is his encyclopedic knowledge of the music of this era.

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