Big Rude Jake's last release, Blue Pariah, was an interesting mixture of jazz-blues infused with a lounge demeanour and a punk attitude. He even labelled Blue Pariah as "punk-blues." For his new release, Big Rude Jake, he's dropped the punk attitude but kept the lounge suit. Big Rude Jake has gone and released, surprise, a swing album. Yes, the latest in flash in the pan music for all those young kids to latch onto. Now all kids have to do today is rent "Swing Kids" and listen to stuff like this and voila, they can swing like their grandparents used to.
You might argue that Big Rude Jake was doing this prior to the swing revival, so was he a hep-cat before hep-cat entered juvenile lingo? And does this really matter? Yes and no. Blue Pariah had the feeling of the swing era without sounding exactly like it. Big Rude Jake has the same feeling by sounding exactly like it. That is why this release is such a disappointment. He could have made this album without a big band and succeeded, because lyrically Big Rude Jake is very smart. Tracks like "Dinner With The Devil" and "Kill All the Rock Stars" are really nifty songs and "Blue Pariah #1" is a stand out musically. However, the rest of the tracks are just so blah. So does it matter that Big Rude Jake was a so-called original hep-cat? No, because the lack of originality on "Big Rude Jake" makes him sound like he hopped on a bandwagon.
By Jason May
Jul 23, 2001