Ray Gelato Giants - The Full Flavour - Gramophone
The spirit of Harlem jump bands is alive and well in Britain. Tenor saxist and vocalist Gelato leads a group who produce exuberant, happy music over a deliberately stressed-off beat much of the time, the kind of thing to get the feet tapping. There is never an attempt to produce facsimile sound of any particular band (Gelato's own preference is the vocal style of Louis Prima and the work of the great swing tenor players) but all of the music is played not only with conviction but with a real appreciation of the tradition. Apple honey will bring a smile of satisfaction to the faces of all Herman fans, for this little band actually achieves the big band feel of Woody's Herd by the use of a very skilled arrangement. Gelato is the principal singer although the splendid Claire Martin makes a guest appearance on two tracks.