Al Copley,
Jump On It
(One Mind, 2002)

The cover of Al Copley's Jump On It shows a wild man who brings Jerry Lee Lewis to mind. Perhaps it's no accident that "Great Balls of Fire" is one of the songs on this disc. Jump blues is the genre at hand here, the variant of the blues that puts emphasis on the piano and horns.

Most of the tunes are covers, but the sole Copley-penned tune, "The Last Thing I Needed," fits in well with the others. His voice is somewhat reminiscent of Huey Lewis's, and the feel-good vibe is the same as it is in Lewis's music. Jump blues helped give rise to rock 'n' roll, and the music here is sometimes swinging, sometimes rocking.

Copley (a co-founder of Roomful of Blues) is assisted by Curt Ramm (trumpet), Jimmy "B" Biggins (tenor sax), Arno Hecht (baritone and tenor sax), Bob Parr (bass) and Floyd Murphy Jr. (drums). The horn section plays with enthusiasm and some of the solos are positively uplifting. (Check out "Hoy Hoy Hoy" for an example.) Copley's playing sometimes gives the impression that he's never met a glissando he didn't like, but overall the high-spirited feeling makes this a fun record.

It should be said that this is a short disc, barely over 30 minutes long. The vocal on "Louie Louie" seems to be mixed low, compared to the other songs. Songs like "Please Send Me Someone to Love" and "How Sweet It Is" will please lovers of pop classics; there's also a novelty number, "The Big Ten Inch Record," which is spiced with a little light innuendo.

All in all, this disc is packed with plenty of verve and is a great record to play at a party. Copley and company are obviously having fun on Jump On It and, if you like this kind of music, you will too.

- Rambles
written by Jennifer Hanson
published 29 May 2004

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