Geoff Power’s Great Gatsby Orchestra
4.5 stars
Reviewed by Jeannie McInnes

What’s not to love about this album? A ten-piece orchestra of mainly young musicians, who since their debut album five years ago have developed into a tight outfit full of life and energy and as musically accomplished and engaging as any big band anywhere. Over those years, band members have progressed from students to members of noted bands: Judy Bailey’s Jazz Connection, Divergence and Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra. All four of Power’s offspring have earned their own place making it a family affair, but also listen for pianist Robbie Mann, a wonderful new player who includes the stride style of Fats Waller. The Great Gatsby Orchestra play the hot dance music of the 1920s, the music of Oliver, Armstrong, Morton and Ellington, and include Australian compositions such as those by Dave Dallwitz, Frank Coughlan and Frank Johnson. Shake That Thing takes its title track from a 1926 tune played Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. Hot jazz this certainly is. Lively, syncopated, and with a beat that makes you want to dance. This is a whole new generation bringing their own exuberance to swing with a sense of enjoyment that shines through.