Title: Monkey Swing Monkey Doo
Artist: Doctor Sparkles
Label: Kevin Patrick Baiko
1. The Golden Age Of Swing
2. Hundred Monkey Mambo
3. Swingtown (Alphabet In Reverse)
4. Star Monkey
5. The Anahata
6. Gotta Dance
7. Devil Cat In A Concrete Jungle
8. Monkey Love
9. Just One Thing
10. Last Flight Of The Multicolored Angel Bird
11. Another One Percent
12. Always Be There
13. Another Birthday Song
14. Flinging Poo At The Zoo
When a ukulele artist’s name happens to be Doctor Sparkles, you pretty much know up front that any music that they perform will not be boring. Then when you notice that the album name is Monkey Swing Monkey Doo, you can’t help but smile. I’m not normally a huge fan of the swing genre, but I’m always open to try something new. The CD has 14 songs, with a running time of around 56 minutes. Let’s go through each song.
The Golden Age Of Swing (5:32) starts off the CD with a great big band drum beat and horns, that makes you immediately want to tap your feet. In addition to the instruments, there are vocals by Doctor Sparkles and Anavi (female). I was unable to hear the ukulele in this track.
Hundred Monkey Mambo (4:09) Very catchy tune. You’ll get this one stuck in your head for sure. Again, the ukulele isn’t obvious in this track. Trumpets and other horns have the upper hand here. Fun tune though.
Swingtown (4:44) I think I would enjoy this song a lot more if it was an instrumental. Most of it is singing the alphabet, which gets slightly monotonous after awhile.
Star Monkey (4:38) Slower tune about… you guessed it, monkeys! The beginning is nice when it’s just the instruments. I could picture a couple gliding around on the dance floor.
The Anahata (5:51) I had no clue what an anahata was till I looked it up on Wikipeda. Apparently it’s a chakra. The song is more of the same, swing. It doesn’t get interesting until a little past midway. Then out come the drums and the zimmie zoo wahs.
Gotta Dance (3:28) Another tune that makes you want to get up and start dancing the jive (or something equally fast). This is probably my favorite track. Guess what? I don’t think this track has the word monkey in the lyrics! Shock!
Devil Cat in a Concrete Jungle (4:19) An instrumental – Yay! It reminds me of music that you’d hear for a tango.
Monkey Love (2:32) Back to the monkeys again with this short light swinging tune. Oh poor ukulele, where are you?
Just One Thing (3:45) You can definitely hear strumming ukuleles in this tune. Finally It’s a nice sweet song without any monkey references and no big band backup.
Last Flight of the Multicolored Angel Bird (5:22) Mostly an instrumental, with some light female non-lyric chorus in the background. This is a strange tune. It starts out kinda native American inspired with a flute, then it goes into a smoke filled jazz nightclub, progresses into a female chorus and finally into what almost reminds me of the theme to the old Get Smart TV show.
Another One Percent (0:51) Very short tune that I wish was even shorter I can see Doctor Sparkles shaking his top hat and marching across the stage. Very vaudeville-ish.
Always Be There (3:15) Nice piano playing through out and horns make this song nice, but it isn’t one that I tend to remember.
Another Birthday Song (3:09) The song is slightly mellow with more piano and horns, but alas no ukulele.
Flinging Poo at the Zoo (4:42) Of course the CD has to end with monkeys and… oh yeah… poo. Too bad that the only song that has some decent uke coverage (at the beginning), talks about slinging poo. Am I a stick in the mud? Maybe. This is another song that you’ll be humming for hours after hearing it. I guess that’s something…
By the end of this CD, I was very ready to listen to something that did not have the word monkey in the lyrics. This CD is fun and light hearted, but if you’re looking for something that shines a spotlight on the ukulele, you’ll either need a microscope, or you’ll need to look elsewhere. Jazz, swing and primates are the focus here. If that’s your scene, then go listen to the song samples on the Doctor Sparkles website.