According to the liner notes the band accompanying Ms. Frost is the The Swinging Dukes, a band that was previously led by the late Canadian Rockabilly hall of famer, Ray Condo. Condo was Frost’s friend and mentor, the recording is a tribute to Ray Condo (5/16/1950 - 4/15/2004). The album was intended to be recorded live off the floor, a raw and real feel with a retro groove or so the notes indicate, but I find it highly polished and lacking in a free flowing energy. The song, "I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" features the clarinet of Bob DeAngelis, his solo spot is inspiring although short. He manages to gain some freedom with flowing lines of response to Frost’s singing, and he has beautiful lyrical phrasing.
The classic Duke Ellington song, "Solitude" is a highlight. A gorgeous arrangement of strings by violinist Randy Lee, wonderful saxophone by Ross Taggart and the sweetest singing you will ever hear. A beautiful, passionate performance of this melancholy ballad that is simply breathtaking.
The band stays on track with a swingin’ feel for most of the songs, "Them There Eyes" is no exception. Bob DeAngelis swings like a member of the Original Dixieland Band, making his clarinet the lightning rod for excitement. The horn arrangements are credited to Terry Townson who also takes on the muted trumpet lines alla King Oliver. Lilly Frost sings the song as a retro bop pop tune, putting a contemporary spin to the song.
The appeal to this recording, Lily Swings is its contemporary take on the songs of Billy Holiday. Lily Frost is not an imitator, she has her own well developed sound, style and manner of covering songs. She blends well with traditional jazz musicians, the band swings and Lily Swings to her own beat. A tribute to be proud of.