Put on your Zoot Suits and black and white wing tipped shoes. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is in town. On Saturday, Aug. 13th, this little group with a big band sound graced the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. Love that Voodoo they do so well. Our very own Grammy award winning big band, The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, accompanied them in a concert that paid tribute to the late Cab Calloway.
The evening was beautiful, the temperature was tolerable, and the music was hoppin’. The outdoor arena was the perfect spot to host one of the greatest swing revival bands of our time. Before Big Bad Voodoo Daddy started to play, the orchestra warmed us up with classics like “Jump, Jive n’ Wail”, “I’m Getting’ Sentimental Over You” and of course “In the Mood”. Under the casual and fun direction of Michael Krajewski, we were moving and shaking even before the main attraction. In fact, swing dancers from the local universities were invited to get the party started with dancing in the aisles. During the symphony’s rendition of “Sing, Sing, Sing”, there was a flash mob affect and 100 couples were up on their feet.
How Big Can You Get is Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s 8th and latest CD and also their first cover album. The cast of characters in BBVD has been intact for over 18 years. Scotty Morris, the ring-leader of this dapper ensemble, discovered Cab Calloway when he was five during the old Betty Boop shorts on T.V. Calloway’s music was the sound track. His fascination with the music began back then and he joked, “I also discovered I was a boy.” There is nothing like a musical association to a childhood fantasy.
The band put together Calloway’s most iconic songs like “The Jumpin’ Jive”, “Reefer Man” and “Minnie The Moocher”. Can I have a “Hi De, Hi De, Hi De Hi!” They took the old songs and rearranged them with their own refreshing flare. The tunes were recognizable but different enough to bring them into the 21st century.
Morris said, “That’s beautiful!” when he got the entire audience to sing, making us feel like we were part of the action.
The concert included some of their own great dancing numbers like “5, 10, 15 times I Love You” where Shumaker took the bass for a jog around the block. They played “Jumpin’ Jack”, their first song ever, and “The Kid” dazzled us with a sexy trumpet solo. BBVD sent us on our way with “Time To Go, Daddio”.
I truly had a wonderful time and it was fun for everyone. Next time I will seriously consider bringing my girls, Lady “H” and the Viking Princess. It was my first visit to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater and the venue couldn’t have been better. It matched the grandness of the music and I was able to lose myself in it like a speck of dust floating in a world of high energy jivey noise.