Grand Marquis

There’s a reason that Grand Marquis is the hardest-working band in Kansas City: The straight-from-the-speakeasy jazz band plays music that everyone likes to hear. The band’s fifth release, Hold on to Me, blends expert trumpet solos, soulful upright bass and smart guitar riffs with delicious drumbeats. Out front, lead singer and sax player Bryan Redmond brings his gospel background to bear on a flawless mix of standards and originals. There’s a taste of New Orleans with the marching-band rave-up “Milenberg Joys,” and there are sultry slow jams (notably “Sway”) alongside the hard-swingin’ grooves (“Night Is for Lovers”). Of course, there’s also Kansas City jazz, most memorably a cover of Myra Taylor’s “The Spider and the Fly.” The 12-year-old quintet is versatile, and its jump blues and swing jazz aren’t just for the porkpie-hat-and-pincurls crowd anymore. Kansas City should be proud to call Hold on to Me — and Grand Marquis — its own.

Categories: Music