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Big Jay McNeely

Honkin' & Jivin' At the Palomino

Review by Gary Hill

This is a two-disc set. Still, it's basically in the range of 41 minutes. That's because the first disc is a CD and the second a DVD of the same live show. There is an interview included on the DVD, too, though. Big Jay McNeely's brand of music lands in between rock and roll, jazz and blues. It's saxophone driven. More than anything else, it's a lot of fun. With this package you can listen to the CD or watch the DVD (I highly recommend it. It brings another side to the whole show). Either way, you are in for a good time.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Palomino Hop
This is high energy and lots of fun.  It's noisy and raucous and a real screamer - literally in terms of the saxophone playing.
I Can't Stop Loving You

This slower cut has a bit of a blues meets old school rock and roll vibe to it. They bring some of the original country into it with the slide guitar, too. Yet, the sax steals the show.

All That Wine Is Gone

This is the first cut to have vocals. It another high energy piece that's so much fun. This is  so catchy. The sax really shines on this, too.

There Is Something on Your Mind

A slower cut, jazz and old time rock and roll merge here. This has a definite blues vibe to it, too. At a duration of close to seven and a half minutes, this is the lengthiest number here.

Pretty Girls Everywhere

Speaking of old time rock and roll, this is packed full of it. This is catchy and a really good time.

Honky Tonk
This bluesy honky tonk number is another instrumental. It's also jam packed with "cool." Different instruments get to show off. They run it through and stop before firing back out into a double time version. Then it gets a full-on unaccompanied saxophone solo after that. That solo gets a bit weird, but remains tasty.
Young Girl Blues

A full blues song, this is so classy. As you can guess the saxophone really gets a great showing. Another fun number, this works really well. It includes some crowd participation.

Big Jay Shuffle
Another high energy instrumental, this is a great way to close the set in style. McNeely's sax purely wails on this stomper.
 
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