John Sheridan & His Dream Band: Scott Robinson (bass clarinet); Dan Barrett (cornet); Phil Flanigan (bass instrument); Daniel Block, Eddie Erickson, Jake Hanna, John Sheridan, Rebecca Kilgore, Russ Phillips, Randy Reinhart, Ron Hockett.
Personnel: John Sheridan (vocals, piano); Rebecca Kilgore (vocals); Eddie Erickson (guitar); Daniel Block (clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Ron Hockett (clarinet); Randy Reinhart (cornet); Dan Barrett , Russ Phillips (trombone); Jake Hanna (drums).
Audio Mixer: Jim Czak.
Liner Note Author: John Sheridan.
Recording information: Nola Studios, New York, NY (09/12/2006/09/13/2006).
Arranger: John Sheridan.
Pianist John Sheridan has worked hard to keep the spirit of swing alive, both in other bands and as a leader. On Swing Is Still the King, he furthers his effort with the support of singer Rebecca Kilgore and an ensemble of nine other players, including guitarist Eddie Erickson, cornetist Randy Reinhart, and saxophonist Dan Block. Sheridan has named this combo His Dream Band, and the players are given a chance to strut their stuff on the first three instrumentals, including a nice take of Irving Berlin's "Always" and a six-and-half-minute version of "You Turned the Tables on Me." Although the ensemble is fairly large, the arrangements are spare and flexible. Kilgore joins the band on the fourth cut, "You're a Heavenly Thing," and her vocals play a large role on Swing Is Still the King, fronting the band on ten of the 15 tracks. Kilgore has good tone and works well within the classic medium of swing, and it's nice that she has chosen songs that are not overly familiar. She delivers a fine version of Mel Powell's "Shirley Steps Out," and is equally at home with ballads and uptempo numbers. With sympathetic vocals, a solid band, and good songs, Sheridan will easily convince listeners that Swing Is Still the King. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.