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Jimmy Sutton's Four CharmsBy Craig Schmidt Swing, it would seem, no longer holds sway over the popular conscience. At least, not the way it did at around this time two years or so ago. But for true purveyors of that culture, mainstream recognition was never the point anyway. As such, Jimmy Suttons Four Charms continue to swing, while the rest of the world searches for another hip retro movement to latch on to.
Most of the Charms the current house band at The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge - have been members of, or at least played with, The Green Mills old house band, The Mighty Blue Kings. But while the peripatetic Kings rode a smooth, broad sound to the top of the Midwestern swing scene, the Charms have managed to carve a niche for themselves based on more Spartan sensibilities.
Which is not to say the quartet are not true to their roots. Yes, Suttons bass is more prominent in the mix than it was with the Kings, but it still trundles in that eminently danceable way. Similarly, Joel Pattersons liquid guitar is freer to noodle and interact with Jonathan Doyles saxophone on account of the smallish quartet configuration.
The result is raw, circuitous sound that sometimes (like on the Sutton/Patterson duet "Get Jive Jack") sounds rather more like Bill Haley and the Comets than 1920s-era swing music. But none in the usual mix of hipsters and tourist-types at the Green Mill seemed to care very much Tuesday, September 7. As long as they were able to dance to it.
Jimmy Suttons Four Charms play from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesdays until September 28th at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, 4802 N. Broadway Ave. Cover charge is $5.