Tom Leggett, “Jewel In My Crown” (Independent)

tom-leggettWe liked Leggett’s debut, a representative product of the New Orleans club scene, which features so many hard working and underpaid musicians of merit. It’s good to see Leggett continuing on in a similar vein with a more polished and fully realized work. Leggett’s affinity for New Orleans music is strongly evident on the album’s first three tracks, which have that touch of second line swing endemic to New Orleans and get just the right seasoning from the punchy horn arrangements played by Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown on trumpet, James Martin on tenor and Terrance Taplin on trombone. Taplin trades solos with Leggett’s guitar on “She Prays.” “Jewel in My Crown” celebrates the happy-go-lucky lifestyle of a working musician who likes the work, no matter how impecunious. Leggett’s guitar is featured over a reggae beat on his ode to the Crescent City, “Further I Roam.” Leggett’s engaging songwriting produces the toe-tappers “Edward” and “Happy Song,” the easy swinging waltz “Come on Back Home” on and good-timey finale “Whiskey Goin’ Round.” Recorded at Word of Mouth, mastered at Esplanade, the record has a full, clean and professional sound.