JC Hopkins, piano and vocals; Queen Esther, vocals; Lewis "Flip" Barnes, vocals; Cleave Guyton, alto saxophone, clarinet; Patience Higgins, tenor saxophone; Claire Daly, baritone saxophone; James Zollar, trumpet; Chuck "Numbers" MacKinnon, trumpet; Erik Jekabson, trumpet; Vincent Chancey, French horn; J. Walter Hawkes, trombone; Liberty Ellman, guitar; Warren Smith, vibraphone; Catherine Popper, double bass; Sunny Jain, drums.
A classy fourteen-piece biggish big band with a saucy chanteuse telling a tale of love and show biz'ness in the Borough of Kings is what you get on JC Hopkins' retro-hip, conceptual debut CD, Underneath a Brooklyn Moon. The CD features the distinctive style of vocalist Queen Esther and the multi-talented producer, writer, and pianist JC Hopkins. California native Hopkins moved to New York City about five years ago and has worked on projects and cowritten songs with vocalists Madeleine Peyroux and Norah Jones. All but one of the songs on this CD were written or cowritten by Hopkins.
The rest of the Biggish Band is a superbly talented collection of some of the finest musicians, and there is plenty to enjoy, from the baritone sax of Claire Daly to the guitar of Liberty Ellman and the additional vocals of Lewis "Flip" Barnes.
By Linda Goshay
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