Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011
Elkhorn's Chris Mariani is a formidable conduit for the swinging sounds of Frank, Dean, Tony and the boys. Ranging from the accompaniment of piano and trumpet to full-on big band, he leads with assurance and a lack of irony. It's been 15 years since the peak of the neo-kitsch swing/exotica/bachelor-pad music vogue, but Mariani sounds more interested in maintaining stylistic classicism than appealing to hipsters. His six-song debut features only a slight misstep, when he adds a touch more oomph than necessary to an Elvis classic. A full album giving Mariani more room to develop his personal take on vintage and vintage-sounding material would do well.