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How Big Can You Get?: The Music of Cab Calloway

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How Big Can You Get?: The Music of Cab Calloway album cover
Come On With The "Come On"
Calloway Boogie
The Call Of The Jitterbug
Hey Now, Hey Now
The Jumpin' Jive
How Big Can You Get?
The Old Man Of The Mountain
The Ghost of Smokey Joe
Reefer Man
Minnie The Moocher
Tarzan of Harlem
Album Information

Total Tracks: 11   Total Length: 44:36

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Write a Review 9 Member Reviews

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I'm Voodoo addicted...


This is a gian Voodoo album. Amazing tracks, energic music, great boogie, jazz, rockabilly stuff.

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How Big Can You Get?


For those not familiar to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, just think what the old big bands groups of the 40's would have sounded with modern recording equipment. The recording is perfect with every instrument crisp and clear played by musicians who delight in the big band sound. The vocals are a good match and would have been appropriate 60+ years ago. But these guys aren't just copying the old sound, they have put their own spin on things and have produced an album you will return to often.

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I saw the band 3 times live. And I like them alot-Rabbit

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Get this album


Don't let the purists on Cab sway you. You won't regret it if you DL this one. This is big-speaker stuff. Turn it up. Fav is 'hey now, hey now'. Need more BBVD, eMusic!

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feels great , buy it


Slowly seeped in until by track 4, all feet were moving and smiles everywhere. Tremendous stuff done with enthusiasm and well produced and engineered.

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Get it!


This is just plain fun! Even my wife, who isn't as big a fan of big band/swing (or jazz) as I am was tapping her foot and bopping her head to the beats on this album! Yes, Cab was great and there is some of his original music on emusic as well as other big bands BUT very few of these other recordings have the modern recording quality found in this album. This album is a classy party just waiting to happen.

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A Great Cab Collection


Voodoo Daddy does a fine job with these songs. I recently saw them live at the Hootenanny Festival and they were great. But yes, do seek out the originals.

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Wonderful sound!


I agree Cab Callaway was a one of a kind performer but this album is BBVD's artistic interpretation of Cab's hits. The boys of BBVD really hit the mark and made a wonderful listen. Some real toe-tappin' tunes that make you want to get up and boogie!

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Find some Cab Calloway...


Okay, it's not bad-but here's the thing. Cab Calloway was an awesome performer, and there are some very good Calloway recording around (even a few here on eMu, but make sure you preview first. Like all musicians of that era, there are many bad recordings too), and some good tributes, like Joe Jackson's early 80's "Jumpin' Jive." I've been a BBVD fan for years, even hailing from their hometown, but I'm not sure they needed to do this. It shows some moxie to do a tribute to the best, but does the world need good recordings in tribute to great recordings?

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They Say All Music Guide

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s reputation as a pop star styled retro-jazz band has to be enhanced and authenticated by this homage to the leading commercial proponent of jump, jive, and wailing swing in the ’30s and ’40s, Cab Calloway. The band, with its solid horn section and half-crazed vocal cops channeled through the Hi-De-Ho Man by Scotty Morris is faithful to the core from the originals. Though the band does not do all of Calloway’s big hits (missing are “Viper’s Drag,” “St. Louis Blues,” and “Kickin’ the Gong Around,” among many others), their selection of tunes is a delightful mix of favorites and some zingers, all well done in the style that made Calloway both revered and in some circles reviled. His overly dramatic songs are avoided, and fun is the operative word for these tunes that still are good to hear. Among the true blue covers: the definitive shuffle “Calloway Boogie” with the animated vocals of Morris, the energetic and stoned “Reefer Man,” the easy swinger “Hey Now” with the band’s vocal choruses, and the Gene Krupa bompity bomp beat tacked onto “Tarzan of Harlem.” There are two versions of the all-time classic “Minnie the Moocher,” one laid-back featuring growl trumpet, the other in a quicker mode with rhythms rolling along. “The Jumpin’ Jive” is pretty typical, a stomp-down rhythm identifies the title track, and a horse-drawn clippity clop beat steadies “The Old Man on the Mountain,” with phrases inserted similar to “Comes Love.” It’s clear that the band has always enjoyed these tunes and this era of jazz, and now that they have a bit of success under their belts, their desire to do a tribute close to their hearts is fully realized. Perhaps their March 2009 showcase on Dancing with the Stars playing vintage throwback swing also prompted this excursion way back to the roots. Their first recording in five years, it would seem Big Bad Voodoo Daddy have career longevity in mind, and a tribute to Louis Jordan, Slim Gaillard, or a second volume of Calloway’s tunes would also be in order for a future project. This recording comes easily recommended to their fans and early period jazz lovers. – Michael G. Nastos

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