Movits!
"Äppelknyckarjazz"

(Comedy Central Records 2009)Movits! - Äppelknyckarjazz

Movits! make me want to become a better person. Learn to play banjo, harmonica, and saxophone, while taking intermediate Swedish night classes. Well maybe not a better person but a more unique one at least. "Äppelknyckarjazz" (nice try) is the debut album from Movits!, a Swedish hip swing/big band/jazz rap group comprised of Jocke Nilsson and brothers Johan and Anders Rensfeldt. Yes I know that genre I made up is terrible but with an album title that literally translates to "Apple swiper jazz," it's really not that far off.

Movits! musical tastes bounces around even more than the trio does on stage. Looking like they belong at a 1940's prom, they don letter jackets (with the appropriate M) and Buddy Holly specks, while rapping over big band swing beats and jazz laden sax solos. Upon first listen, I would be lying if I said I'd heard anything like it before. Which is a good thing. The opening track "Ta på dig dansskorna" is thick with the big band and swing styles while the very next track, "Lite Som..." grabs the wheel and takes an R&B, blues detour. Consider these four styles (can't say that often) the template of the album.

The banjo strumming, hand clapping, squeeze-boxing, and yes even auto-tuning "Fel del av gården" is the perfect pop, radio-ready track these three need for American airplay. Which would never happen, but it's nice to dream anyway. Round the album out with a twangy harmonica track that would make Eastwood tap his dusty cowboy boot, and a Jack Johnson surf soaked beach jam and Movits! has finally run out of genres to play with.

"Äppelknyckarjazz" (give up) can take a few plays to become accustomed to the Swedish spoken word and rapping, but when a song gets you to break out into a 1930's throwback of the Charleston who honestly cares what the singer is saying?

B+

buy it!