After forming in 1997, The New Memphis Hepcats fast became a favorite attraction in the Memphis area. In 1999, the band released it's first album, 'Live at the Hi Tone,' to rave reviews. That same year, the band was nominated for the Newcomer Award by the Memphis chapter of NARAS at their Premier Player Awards. The band has performed extensively throughout the Southeast and continues to deliver their hard-swinging big band sound. The second release from the New Memphis Hepcats features more great big band compositions. From Jimmie Lunceford's classic 'Rhythm is Our Business', to Dizzy Gillespie's 'Ray's Idea,' this album covers several periods of big band jazz. Many of the tunes come from the books of the great Count Basie and Duke Ellington bands, including 'Ko Ko,' 'Splanky,' 'All of Me,' 'Such Sweet Thunder,' and 'Fly Me to the Moon,' which Basie recorded with Frank Sinatra. Other vocal numbers include Bobby Darin's version of 'Beyond the Sea,' a piano/vocal duet of 'One For My Baby,' and a new arrangement of the Cole Porter classic 'You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To.' Another new avenue for the album is the recording debut of Old Man Johnson and the Cooter River Jass Band, a dixieland off-shoot of the New Memphis Hepcats. Two songs feature this seven-piece group: W.C. Handy's 'Memphis Blues' and the traditional favorite 'Bill Bailey.' Swingopoly has something for everyone and will be sure to become a welcome addition to any big band library.
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