Jan 26, 2021

There are two types of people in this world: those who find the neon of Las Vegas romantic and exciting, and those who find the associated tumbling dice/guys’ weekend aesthetic skeevy and unimaginative. I’m firmly Column B, but tried my damnedest with this record, which has a really nice backstory: veteran ska drummer Korey Horn from Suedehead, The Aggrolites, and more teamed up with his father, Kim “Pops” Horn, a jazz crooner in the tradition of Johnny Hartman and Nat “King” Cole, and recruited a bunch of talented players from bowling shirt-friendly groups like The Aggrolites, The Original Wailers, and The Brian Setzer Orchestra to make an intergenerational album that blends old-school Caribbean sounds with jazz and more. With oodles of funky percussion and hot ‘n’ juicy horns in the mix, there’s clearly a lot of talent at work in the studio, but the results don’t quite gel—Pops’s martini croon often seems to be blustering against the band’s lilting ska, resulting in a disorienting push and pull. Still, you may want to give this a spin if you hear music described as “ska James Bond theme” and start smoothing the velvet on your jacket. –Chris Terry (Pirates Press)