Shout, Sisters, Shout

review-shout-sistersWithout a doubt one of the best of all possible albums to begin your trip to Boz.

First track is a shocker: a 1925 acoustic recording of the Boswell Sisters first side. Consider that Vet, on the high voice, is all of 14 years old at the time – and that there were no retakes, balance, or even microphones as we know them now (they sang into little horns). Ride through this rough and tumble little ditty (complete with the Boswell’s own personal language called “gibberish”) and say to yourself “this is great for historical context but I bet it gets better”.

And Lordy does it ever. The next track is “Heebie Jeebies”, a Satchmo number that gets the Boswell tempo treatment and gives you your first exposure to the strutting contralto of Connie Boswell. This was their lucky song and you’ll be feeling lucky to have bought this CD around this time.

If you had any doubt that you were about to have a great musical romp, add the Dorsey Brothers on “When I take My Sugar to Tea” and just strap yourself in. Don’t be lulled into thinking you’ve hit a sentimental sappy in “Shine on Harvest Moon”

If you don’t feel like marching in a Mardi Gras parade after “We Got to Put the Sun Back in the Sky” you need a tonic.

And if by “Old Yazoo” you feel like you just went through all of Mardi Gras in 3-minutes – you’ve been Bozzed.

Not to worry. Your blood pressure will come down and your heart be rocked in the cradle of Southern loveliness by the time the CD comes to an end on “Dinah”.

This is a superlative CD for the music afficianado who wants to dip into the refreshing, innovative and utterly joyful noise of the Boswell Sisters. Their incomparable sound shines here, and you are treated to some of the best jazzmen of the 30s like Bunny Berrigan, Joe Tarto, Joe Venutti, Eddy Lang and Manny Klein in what feels sometimes like one of the bestest, baddest jams in late night New York history.

John Lucas may have said it best in the October 15, 1944 cover story of Down Beat when he said of the Boswell Sisters “Since they were kids they’ve been singing licks instead of lyrics, and riffs in place of rhymes.”

Get Bozzed!

Back to Reviews