Sweet Megg and Ricky Alexander

I’m In Love Again
(Turtle Bay Records )

Sweet Megg (a.k.a singer Meaghan Farrell) and woodwind player Ricky Alexander tap into the enduring appeal of early swing on their debut, I’m In Love Again. Delectably pithy, each of the record’s 11 tunes delivers a heady dose of syncopation and tuneful improvisation, recalling the abandon of jazz-age dance halls and speakeasies.

This is no dusty nostalgia album, however. Sure, Megg gets gritty on “Squeeze Me,” Fats Waller’s blues hit, and she nails the wistful warbling on “Foolin’ Myself,” popularized by Billie Holiday. But she refreshes these time-honored songs rather than clones the originals; her agility with modern swing feels gives her vocals a decidedly individualistic flair.

Alexander, too, brings a contemporary sensibility to his interpretation of these tunes. His fleet clarinet soloing on the bouncing fox trot “Right Or Wrong” and the roguish “Angry” hint at predecessors like Ted Lewis and Benny Goodman, but only intermittently; as lead soloist he seeks to maintain, it seems, the lighthearted zeitgeist of each tune, whatever its era of origin. Even his regret-filled saxophone lines on Duke Ellington’s “I Got It Bad” smack of optimism.



On Sale Now
December 2022
Kenny Barron
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