Maggie Herron – “Red Hot Jazz”

Maggie Herron, “Red Hot Jazz,” from A Ton of Trouble

Maggie Herron has twice won Hawaii’s Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Jazz Album of the Year. On this, her fourth self-released album, she sounds fully complete and mature as a singer, songwriter, and pianist. With several songs penned by daughter Dawn Herron on an album co-produced by Bill Cunliffe, Maggie’s rich contralto voice captivates.

“Red Hot Jazz” is a throwback to the music’s pre-bop early days, full of wailing clarinet, leaping stride piano, slick trombone and peppery trumpet. Lyrically, the song is all about jazz’s universal appeal. As Herron calls out some of her favorite jazz hotspots — New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, even her hometown of Honolulu — her band swings along enthusiastically, nodding to various styles from jazz’s past. “There’s nothing quite as good as smokin’ red-hot jazz,” sings Herron. We couldn’t agree more.

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