Phil Ogilvie's Rhythm Kings Live
BY LARS BJORN
Phil Ogilvie's Rhythm Kings (PORK) have settled in at their new location, Live! at PJ's, 102 South First Street in Ann Arbor, not far from their original haunt, the Bird of Paradise. They play 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Sundays for dancers and listeners alike.
What impressed me most on my recent visit was the polished swing the band has developed. Old chestnuts from the big band repertoire of the twenties and thirties came alive in Jim Dapogny's arrangements, and both soloists and the rhythm section played with a lot of verve. The day I was there I heard terrific solos by Paul Finkbeiner on trumpet, Ben Jansson on tenor sax, Jim Dapogny on piano, and Mike Jones on clarinet. But it was the total effect that makes the band one of the real jewels of the jazz life of southeastern Michigan.
PJ's is also an ideal venue for the band with good acoustics, plenty of comfortable seating, and a sizeable dance floor right up front. I was rejuvenated by all the young people doing what we think once happened on the floor of the Savoy! Check it out some Sunday and shake a leg if you feel like it. Go to www.myspace.com/porkjazz to hear some of PORK's recordings.
Phil Ogilvie's Rhythm Kings are: James Dapogny (piano, musical director); Chris Smith (sousaphone, manager); Andrew Bishop and Mike Jones (alto sax, clarinet); Tom Bogardus (tenor sax, clarinet); Paul Finkbeiner and Ingrid Racine (trumpet); Gene Bartley (trombone); Rod McDonald (guitar, banjo); and Van Hunsberger (drums, percussion).
photograph by Lars Bjorn