The very idea of this band makes me happy – I often say we’re fortunate to live in a city (okay, fine ) with more music and talent than any enthusiast could ever track down, and here’s monkey-howling proof.Where else can you find a band capable of blending Martin Denny, Miles Davis and “Star Trek” scores into a single smooth cocktail?Where else can you hear a band play a seamless segue from it’s own theme to “Take Five”?
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And its house band a treasure – Exotik-A-Gogo has been playing to a packed house every weekend for about a year now.
I feel a certain affinity with the band, too, because I remember when they came in looking for exotica records.
I believe in recommending a variety of additional albums, 60s jazz and lounge stuff, I suggested they listen to Ahmad Jamal’s 1958 album , if only for his latin-esque, lazily-paced take on the standard “Poinciana”.
I recommend things on request nearly every day, but I remember talking to them because I knew any band for which Bob Ekstrand was doing research was going to be nothing short of the best.
In fact, Exotik-A-Gogo is, ironically, hardly an exotica revival act at all.
Still, it has its moments worthy of the greats, like “Kong’s Unholy Dance”, written by Vince Hyman – credited with “vibraphone, percussion, monkey calls”: 03 Kong’s Unholy Dance (“Kong’s Unholy Dance”) And Chris Johnson, bass ukulele, wrote nearly half of the disc, from the slow-cooking “Insinuette” to the sleek soul of “Swerve” (my favorite track on the disc): 08 Swerve (“Swerve”) Some Hymie’s friends may wonder how a disc by the house band at a tiki bar ended up on our top ten list and feel all the more alienated after realizing that their parents love it as much as Hymie’s does. ), they’ll discover the Martin Denny records in the basement, maybe a Les Baxter, maybe (if they’re lucky) a copy of Shorty Rodgers’ .
06 Dissension (“Dissension”, also by Chris Johnson) A little research may provide an introduction to the long-lost genre, but no Wikipedia article can match the real insight of an enthusiast – so to define exotica for us I have turned to Glen Leslie, host of KFAI’s Jet Set Planet: Exotica is a term coined by Liberty records back in the late 1950s to describe the type of escapist jazz Martin Denny was playing at the time in Hawaii.
by Exotik-A-Gogo 05 Hypnotique (“Hypnotique”) Yes, one of this year’s very best local discs is by the quiet house band at Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge, My love for 60s jazz, for exotica, and for house bands in general is no secret – what does seem to be a secret is just how good Exotik-A-Gogo really is at what they’re doing.
I feel a certain affinity with Psycho Suzi’s, a business that relocated and expanded exponentially last year.