Royal Crown Revue Walk on Fire

Walk On Fire, the new record from Los Angeles smoothies the Royal Crown Revue is a mixture of swing, exotic torch songs and noir-ish jazz. “She Walks On Fire,” the lead-off track, takes a cue from the bold, epic-sounding standard “Jezebel,” and features some snazzy south-of-the-border meets the Middle East-style horns and guitar. One wouldn’t necessarily identify this as a swing track, and as the album progresses it becomes obvious that the RCR are at their most interesting when they’re doing material other than straight-up swing. Just listen to the tango flavoured “Besame Mija (Baille Para Qui),” the wacky, almost Spike Jones sounding “Mr. Meschugge,” the down and out crime jazz of “Take a Long Drink On Me” and the crooner cocktail tones of “Whatcha Doin’” to verify this fact. All the material here is played with seamless proficiency and when they switch up styles there is never a beat lost. Other standout tracks include the working-class, barroom sing-along “Watts Local” and the jungle shakedown “Web Of Love.” With more than enough tracks to keep the hoppers jumping, this CD will mainly appeal to swing fans, but there is also a lot of tasty stuff here for the wallflowers as well. (Side One Dummy)