The Alpha Rhythm Kings • Sharp Dressed Men

Alpha Rhythm Kings CDThe Alpha Rhythm Kings are a frequently rollicking band whose music crosses the boundaries between small-group swing a la Louis Jordan, early rock and roll, and heated, honking early r&b. Singer-trumpeter Rob Dehlinger formed the group in 2017 and the Los Angeles-based combo has since performed in Europe, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Washington D.C, and Disneyland among other locations.

Their latest release, the EP Sharp Dressed Men, is full of joyful spirits and high energy. Dehlinger’s spirited vocals and frequently exciting trumpet solos are matched by Fil Lorenz’s Illinois Jacquet-flavored roaring tenor. The band also includes drummer Vince Littleton and trombone, guitar, piano, and bass with two different musicians alternating on each of those instruments; the CD does not say who plays on which tracks.

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The repertoire includes such numbers are “Fools Are Getting Scarce,” “Keep A Dollar In Your Pocket” (which one could imagine Louis Jordan singing), “The Anaheim Hop,” “School Days,” and “Snatch & Grab It.” While I wish that this set was twice as long, the extroverted and hard-swinging music (there are no soul-searching explorations or introspective moments) is perfect for parties and swing dancing.

Sharp Dressed Men
(Self-Released, 10 selections, TT = 29:01)
www.alpharhythmkings.com

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Since 1975 Scott Yanow has been a regular reviewer of albums in many jazz styles. He has written for many jazz and arts magazines, including JazzTimes, Jazziz, Down Beat, Cadence, CODA, and the Los Angeles Jazz Scene, and was the jazz editor for Record Review. He has written an in-depth biography on Dizzy Gillespie for AllMusic.com. He has authored 11 books on jazz, over 900 liner notes for CDs and over 20,000 reviews of jazz recordings.

Yanow was a contributor to and co-editor of the third edition of the All Music Guide to Jazz. He continues to write for Downbeat, Jazziz, the Los Angeles Jazz Scene, the Jazz Rag, the New York City Jazz Record and other publications.

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