Spun: Jeff Healey

With his mystic powers of jazz, Jeff Healey has done the impossible: created an album that ignores the laws of physics and transports listeners back to the golden age of the swing era. While a glowing portal that vibrates with jeering horn notes and growls with bass may not spring to life when the CD’s cellophane is broken, It’s tight like that is the next best thing.

In an age when sultry singers like Diana Krall have come to dominate the charts, it’s possible to forget that jazz was once simultaneously boisterous and bleak. Opposing though the outlooks are, there’s a good mixture of both on It’s Tight Like That. “Keep it To Yourself” is an enjoyably saucy warning for women to hold on to their men, while “Goin’ Up the River” is a poignant description of one man’s struggle to hold on to life itself during the Great Depression.

There are no real duds on the album, but some of the lesser songs suffer due to their relative heft. Simply put, it’s hard to sustain interest in multiple tracks more than five minutes long, even if it is space/time-warping jazz. That, and some of the melodies start to feel re-used and tired toward the end. Despite these small flaws, It’s Tight Like That is well worth a listen for those seeking to recapture a bygone style of music or breach the fourth dimension.

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