Best Swing Band Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2000 - Oop Bop Sha Bam
Screw Brian Setzer. To hell with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. If those punks didn't have the fancy retro threads, they'd be lost causes. If you want to hear swing in all its original authentic majesty, try Oop Bop Sha Bam, which swings the house every Tuesday and Wednesday night at Mango's on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. Led by its fearless leader, singer-guitarist Jeff Taylor, Oop Bop is one of the few survivors in swing's once-crowded corner. In fact, if the retro trend collapses on itself the way it appears destined to do (with zoot suits, cigars, and martini glasses close behind), this will be the final year for this category. To the band's credit, every cat in this sextet -- Taylor, his keyboardist brother Bob, drummer Brian Smith, saxophonist John Michalak, trumpet-and-flügelhorn whiz John Lovell, and bassist Rick Doll -- is an accomplished jazz musician. Each knows the difference between the real deal and most of the soulless crap that generally passes for swing today. Long before swing made its inevitable transition from cool to khaki commercials, these guys were on the right track. Catch them before the entire movement dissipates for good.