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CD REVIEW: Bird Mancini - "Bird Mancini"
By David Lockeretz - 07/19/2002 - 11:59 PM EDT

Artist: Bird Mancini
Album: "Bird Mancini"
CD Review: Taking their name from two important figures of 20th century music, which (coincidentally or maybe not) happen to be the last names of two of the band members, Bird Mancini delivers a solid set of music with the cool influence of jazz, the attitude of the blues and the energy of rock.

Ruby Bird's solid, honest vocals carry the group's sound; drummer David Kulik and guitarist Billy Carl Mancini also turn in good lead singing on the various cuts. With tasty organ and hot guitar licks, backed by a solid rhythm section, Bird Mancini proves that swing didn't die with the Squirrel Nut Zippers. Songs like the funky "Running To You", the Latin "Jet Setting in Morocco" and the reggae "Into the Night"--featuring a scintillating guitar solo from Mancini--showcase the group's convincing versatility.

My one small complaint is that the country-influenced songs, such as "Sweet Little Thing", don't stand up to the rest of the material; the band does not prove themselves superior to others in this area, the way they do in the other genres they explore. "I Need More (Love)", a slow blues, doesn't quite have enough raw power to work the way it should. The funky jam "Cops and Lawyers" which ends the CD wears out its welcome after a promising start.

These are small setbacks to what is an undeniably superior product. With good vocals, good playing and good songs, Bird Mancini is on their way to reviving swing. Get those bowling shoes out.

For more information about Bird Mancini, visit www.birdmancini.com or email birdmancini@aol.com.


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