The Jumbo Shrimp Jazz Band started as a Royal Street busking band, then became a Bourbon Street traditional jazz band, and now, 10 years on, they’re a Spotted Cat genre-bending party favorite. While their previous albums have dabbled in alternative styles and song choices, The Crustaceous Capers of the Jumbo Shrimp Jazz Band is a crystallized expression of the band’s newfound commitment to goof around and have fun, thumbing their noses at the jazz police.
Songs like “Shrimp and Gumbo,” “Michigan Water Blues,” “Cake Walking Babies from Home,” and “Back in Your Own Backyard” demonstrate the band’s ability to execute classic repertoire, but the standouts are the songs where they take liberties. For example: their delirious rendition of “Dark Eyes” with the lyrics to “You Are My Sunshine” delivered in a leering Eugene Hutz-style by Dr. Sick. They also do a giddy, surf-tastic version of “Something Stupid” and the funky, nostalgia-inducing Sesame Street relic “Eleven Twelve (Pinball Number Count).” Colin Myers distinguishes himself as a songwriter with the album’s opening MGM musical tune, “If I Live to Ninety-Two,” and as an arranger with “Prokofiev Does Frenchmen Street.”
Wrapped in a “leather-bound” design by John Dixon, including a pun-tastic nonsense story on the inside cover, this album is the physical embodiment of jazz swashbuckling.