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Steady Gig is the triumphant first solo album from Susan Chastain, singer of songs, liver of life. Susan's rich, alto voice rings throughout this great CD. Her musical passion and personal warmth permeate every track. Released in April 2005 on PKO Records, Steady Gig is a straight ahead, swinging affair that showcases Susan's many vocal charms, familiar melodies and lyrics and sterling improvised instrumental solos. Susan is accompanied by her longtime bandmates and friends, the Paul Keller Ensemble. The PKE is string bassist Paul Keller, pianist Ellen Rowe, drummer Sean Dobbins, trumpeter Paul Finkbeiner, trombonist Chris Smith and multi-saxophonist Keith Kaminski. On Steady Gig, Susan gives life to 11 standard tunes from the Great American Songbook expertly arranged for the sextet by Paul Keller.
Susan Chastain is also the owner the famous Firefly Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Firefly Club is Michigan's premier jazz club and, since 2000, has hosted hundreds of great jazz and blues musicians including Hank Jones, Jeff Hamilton, Buster Williams, Benny Golson, Steve Turre, Danillo Perez, Mose Allison, Sheila Jordan, Karrin Allyson and Arturo Sandoval. The Firefly Club is located at 637 S. Main Street in Ann Arbor, MI (just south of Madison and just north of Hill. The cross street is Mosley). The Paul Keller Ensemble plays every Wednesday night at the Firefly Club. Susan sings every week at the Firefly Club on Mondays with the 15-piece Paul Keller Orchestra, on Wednesdays with the PKE and for the Friday afternoon dixieland happy hour with Paul Klinger's Easy Street Jazz Band.
Day In, Day Out swings with intensity. Susan loves this tunes and it shows! Great trumpet solo by Paul Finkbeiner and the first of many fine arrangements from Keller.
Comes Love is played with a firey mambo feel. Susan weaves her vocal magic on this sneaky minor key tune and saxophonist Keith Kaminski burns through the changes. Fantastic!
George and Ira Gershwin's They Can't Take That Away From Me is medium tempo swinger that everyone knows and loves. It feels good!
Made famous by Billy Eckstein, Everything I Have Is Yours is given a loving treatment here by Susan. Very tender.
What A Difference A Day Made is played with a spritely samba beat and features Susan and an impressive chorus from the drummer Sean Dobbins. High energy fun.
Duke Ellington's Lucky So And So is a slow and easy creeper with a happy message delivered by Susan and trombonist Chris Smith.
Devil May Care is a classic by vocalist/pianist/composer Bob Dorough. Witty and tongue-in-cheek.
I'm Walkin' marches along with a steady shuffle beat and features a nifty shout chorus from the horn section.
Willow Weep For Me is somber and bluesy. Excellent solos by Finkbeiner and pianist Ellen Rowe.
Susan swings the Van Huesen/Burke standard Like Someone In Love. Solo space belongs to bassist Keller and saxophonist Kaminski.
Juan Tizol's jam session anthem Perdido closes this outstanding CD from an outstanding singer.