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Customer Review

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MC DJ Chintzy Schmaltz KBOO Portland Found Belugas Gem, 4 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Zoo Zizaro (Audio CD)
Have to hand it to MC DJ Chintzy Schmaltz of Portland, Oregon's community radio station KBOO whose after-midnight Monday into Tuesday wee hours LOUNGE WORLD brought this import to my attention. Given that local record stores (yes, Po'Land still has a coupla three record store\disc shops) don't have any bin-card for this Berlin-based band it was good to have Amazon there to supply.

Chintzy had caught my ear threading des Belugas "Human Loss & Gain" remix of Bajka & Radio Utopia into a provocative set of 'down-tempo, anti-war, broken world, nu jazz' as per the mission of LOUNGE WORLD. Bajka's vocal & lyrics are very well worth puzzling out. Her English fluent and the mix just right with an oh-so-soulful almost Steve Douglas-inspired sax honking accents to Bajka's so-cool it's hot vocal urgency. Since that fateful set last May, Chintzy Schmaltz has played other Bajka cuts from her own BAJKA IN WONDERLAND another import highlight of 2010, with her tracks "The Banker's Fate" and "The Vanishing" as blendt by Chintz into a pastrami on wry commentary of the Anglo-Saxon Banking Collapse, revealing more than any verbose too-late-to-slam-the-barndoor bluster over BBC's The World.

Dese Belugas feature other vocalists including the precise Ana Luca and long-gone Oakland Blues thrush Brenda Boykin doing a delightful distaff Cab Calloway turn on the title track "Zoo Zizaro" as well as lending East Bay soul to this otherwise Global cartel {almost the kinda terminally ironic Euro-malaise scene Stew lampoons in his autobiographical theater piece now brought to film by Spike Lee in PASSING STRANGE 2009 DVD}. Many more disparate rabbit holes to hip hop into on ZOO ZIZARO. For any barfly or bartender or Rat Pack devotee seeking the perfect blend, dat would be "Clyde Beluga" with the ingredients mixed by male vocalist Feranck Manseed doing a dead-on Frankie Sinatra bada-bada-bing homage. Elsewhere, Manseed appears in very different vocal guise as a 'Backlash Blues' diva under the moniker Nina Someone. Only American group working this biggish band groove is JC Hopkins and Queen Esther of the Biggish Band in Brooklyn, and they haven't put out a new record in 4-5 years.

Get dese Belugas stateside for some gigs...Bring Brenda Boykin back to her East Bay and I-5 corridor fans in the Northwest as conquering Queen of nu jazz soul, glad Berlin could give her what the hipster wanabe fans at KeeSee's Lounge in West Oakland or Troyce Key's old Eli's Mile High Club or Ruthie's Inn on San Pablo could not...Bring Bajka along and whatever a Kitty The Bill is as he\she seems to play a big cat's share of the instruments and has a frisky paw in the arrangements...
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Location: Po'town, Ore-Wa USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 7,675,732