Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Great Joe Noto/Phyllis Ruby Team

It's vacation week here, and although we're still at home (we're the ones being visited by relatives), I'm still spending next to no time online, hence this posting will be short and sweet.

I've only heard a handful of records on Arco, but I have really liked, or even loved, at least one side from each of those 45's. I previously featured my favorite Arco record (so far) about three years ago, here, and today's release has some similarities to that one.

Again, the prime billing goes to the backing band, Joe Noto and his Diplomats, with the actual star of the show, singer Phyllis Ruby, getting second billing. Honorable mention simple must go to the writer of "Hey There Baby", just on the strength of his rockin' name, Roston Ranson, Jr.

"Hey There Baby" is a wonderfully raucous approximation of Rock and Roll, although performed by a conglomeration which was clearly more at home with swing music. The instrumental bridge is very reminiscent of my aforementioned favorite Arco record, "My Lover".

For "Do You Suppose", the Diplomats provide a nice, if sparse, Rhumba beat, while Phyllis Ruby unfortunately shows some of the limits of her abilities - I think she sounds a bit over her head, although that doesn't spoil the song for me. As they do on several of their Arco tracks, the band segues into another style of music for the instrumental section (in this case, a sort of loose Swing feel), then slip right back into the Rhumba sound for the return of the vocal. A very enjoyable disc on both sides!

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