Do you like jazz? Do you love to dance? Does a wailing sax solo energize you? Buy Back to Broke. This is a CD of fun, spirited music that really makes me look forward to hearing more. Cool, funky, New Orleans club-style jazz that’s got the blues. Back to Broke gets back to the basics: good, creative songwriting. The lyrics are thoughtful, inspired, and full of funny zingers. Dave Cross’ and Gail Chasin’s voices complement each other perfectly. His is casual and conversational (sounding a bit like Randy Newman); hers is powerful and emotional with a tinge of gospel.
The music is a party. From the playful swing of “Wiggle Walk” to the big band feel of the title track, to the foot-stomping “Shuffle,” the musicians on this CD are playing at full throttle and having a great time. The music gets into your blood. “Quiet Surprises” is a pleasant surprise – a soft, romantic break from the upbeat jazz club numbers. The piano notes sound like rapidly falling raindrops at times. The saxophone sounds longing and reflective. Beautiful. This one had me under its spell for a long time.
This is a CD of fun, spirited music that really makes me look forward to hearing more from them. In the meantime, Dave Cross continues to perform at clubs and coffeehouses in and around Orange County, CA, so if you’re in that area, check him out.
-Jennifer Layton, Indie-Music.com.