Home Tiki Lounge Hi-Fi Book Shelf Femme Fatales Martini Hide-Away Essays Forum/Groups Radio Store Links
Hi-Fi Archives: 

"Very Early"
Mystic Lane Productions

     You don’t know cool until you’ve heard Octobop. They are the most refreshing and hippest West Coast cool jazz band to come around in ages. Very Early is the fourth release from this Silcone Valley octet. Their arrangements are bouncy and tight—but not too tight to prevent these guys from swinging. 
     If you’re looking for a straight-ahead jazz ensemble, Octobop doesn’t disappoint. They’ve got the chops. There are echos of Henry Mancini, Gerry Mulligan, Shorty Rogers, and many other jazz cool cats floating around in their tunes. In fact, their take on the “Pink Panther” theme (which really has been done to death by just about every other band) sounds as cool and breezy as when Mancini first composed it. 
     Octobop leader and sax player Geoff Roach, who did the arrangement for “The Pink Panther,” knows how to have fun with a song without falling in the trap of self-parody or over-the-top schmaltz. Roach also bring power to his arrangement of Mulligan’s “A Ballad” and a bop playfulness to Roger’s “Powder Puff.” His version of “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans” is so beautiful is brings a tear to the eye.
     Guitarist Jack Conway’s arrangement of “Mosiac” and “Both to Be Blue” have a wonderfully modern sensibility to it. Trumpet and Flugelhorn player Randy’s Smith’s tune “Saudades” is the coolest bossa-nova inspired piece of jazz to show up in quite a while.
     Octobop is not a lounge band per se, but they fit into the lounge vibe perfectly. The number one problem with bands that try to recapture the lounge/hipster vibe is they try too hard. They try to be the stylized version of cool rather the embodiment of cool. The guys in Octobop know what cool is. It’s just one of those intrinsic things. Either you have it or you don’t. And Octobop has it.
     If you ever get a chance to see these guys live, jump on it. They did two sets at Mondo Lounge Atomic Frolic 2007 and created such a perfect mood of cocktail cool. It was hard not to get lost in the hip vibe they were sending out throughout the place.
     If you’re looking for more Octobop goodness, check out After Dark (2004) and Night Lights (2002).

Buy this album from


Visit the Octobop Website

Hi-Fi Archives>>>

Home | Tiki Lounge | Hi-Fi | Book Shelf | Femme Fatales | Martini Hide-Away | Essays | Forum/Groups | Radio | Store | Links | E-mail 
Copyright 2007, Swinging Bachelor Productions.