After a five year hiatus, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is back with their seventh album celebrating the work of the inspirational Cab Calloway, How Big Can You Get: The Music of Cab Calloway.While I adore Calloway, I find these covers lacking the energetic quality of BBVD’s previous albums as well as Calloway’s original takes. Additionally, this album does not give ample time to highlight their band members.Usually their outstanding trumpet player (and my personal favorite member), Glenn “The Kid” Marhevka gets an exemplary spot to show off this mind-blowing talent, but here, his trumpet belts are lost in throng of other instruments and at times it seems like it’s more of a Scotty Morris album than a BBVD album.
Of the eleven tracks on the album, the best ones are “The Old Man of the Mountain”, “How Big Can You Get?”, “Reefer Man”, and “Tarzan of Harlem”. The album also includes a new version of their previous cover of “Minnie the Moocher” which was originally done on their first, self titled album. This new version has a lot more sass and oozing notes, making it better than their previous.
So, should you buy it? Yes. It is a wonderful tribute to the man of Big Band and perfect for playing at cocktail parties.