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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Jimmy Cavallo


Review by Gary Hill

This new collection showcases an intriguing old school act. While the earliest music here dates to the 1950s, there are songs near the end that are from the 21st Century. The music ranges from old-school rock and roll to jazz, blues and more. Jimmy Cavallo is captured on this album with various acts he's headed over the year. There are some real standouts here, and nothing that really doesn't work at all for me. Since this is from Bear Family, you know the packaging will be cool. In this case, it's a massive and informative booklet included with that really cinches the "class."

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
Rock, Rock, Rock
This high energy stomper combines jazz and rock roll elements into a high energy tune that just plain rocks. I dig the saxophone solo a lot.
That's The Groovy Thing
Seriously up-tempo, this has more of a swinging theatrical jazz vibe to it. Sure, it still has some rock and roll in the mix, too. The complex vocal arrangement is classy. So is the horn soloing.
I Got Eyes For You
The rock and roll concepts are in the driver's seat pretty firmly. There is a bit of a rock and roll crooner thing at play here. The horns still bring some serious jazz concepts on the instrumental break.
Ha Ha Ha Blues
Another energized rock and roller, this one doesn't work as well for me. I find the overly repetitious vocal line to be a little annoying. That said the gang vocals are fun, and the horns are a nice touch.
Rock The Joint
The jazzy jamming on this cut later is purely on fire. There is a rock and roll energy, and the tune has a good groove to it.
Leave Married Women Alone
This stomper has a strong message and a lot of cool jazzy rock and roll at play. There is a short burst of piano soloing that is so tasty.
Soda Shoppe Rock
Not a big change, this is another classy old-school rock and roller.
The Big Beat
I love the piano and the driving energy and groove to this number.
Ooh-Wee (You Sure Look Good To Me)
This killer rock and roller seems custom built to get people up and moving.
Foot Stompin'
Fast-paced and a lot of fun, this rocker works pretty well. The horn work on this instrumental is positively on fire at points.
I'm With You
A bouncy groove, this rocker loses me a little with the doo wop vocals later. Still, it's a decent tune.
Let 'M Roll
The drumming on this thing is positively incendiary. The whole tune really rocks like crazy. This is one of the highlights of the set.
Teenage Lover
I'm not as enthused about this tune. The backing vocals don't work that well for me, and the overall arrangement is a bit too precious at times. This is too "doo wop" for my tastes.
Yo-Yo Baby
Now, this is better. It's bouncy and a lot of fun.
Dream Toy
Another old school rock and roller, this is solid, but not any kind of standout piece. I do like the guitar solo on this quite a bit.
Cherry Pie
The doo wop vocals on this work better for me. The cut has a catchy chorus and is effective.
Don't Move Me No More
Now this energized romp is loads of fun. It has a real groove and drive to it. It's catchy and playful.
Blue Turning Grey Over You
The honking horns on this lend something special to the track. The mix of jazz and rock and roll is classy.
Chicken Talk
This instrumental is a lot of fun.
School Days
I love the jazzy piano on this number. The whole tune has a great groove and drive. This is so much fun. I'd consider it a highlight of the disc.
Fanny Brown
I'd consider this one to be another standout of the disc. It has a mean jazzy groove to it. The honking horns and general vibe work so well. This just oozes cool.
Early In The Morning
This romp is not a standout, but it is effective.
I love both the percussion and the horn work on this tune. The number is an energized stomper that really works well.
I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town
Now, this is a big change. It's a full on blues romp with plenty of jazz in the mix. This is another highlight of the set for me. The piano really brings a lot of magic to this.
I Feel That Old Age Coming On
Another standout, this features more up-tempo blues mixed with rock and roll and jazzy edges. This is a driving powerhouse of a tune.
Rock, Rock, Rock (Live)
This live take of the album's opening cut works well.
That's The Groovy Thing (Live)
The closer is another fast-paced live rocker. This is solid, but not one of my favorites here. The saxophone solo is on fire, though.
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