To paraphrase an old Jimmy Reed tune, Boston's Buck Dewey Big Band ain't so big, just loud that's all.
If these five guys can be said to be part of the neo-swing movement, then they're out there on the lunatic fringe, swinging like saloon doors with broken hinges, noisy and wobbly. In fact, best keep the volume turned down when listening to "Central Square," "Innocent Kind" and other boisterous tracks, unless you want the neighbors to come knocking, whether as complainants or party seekers.
Though certainly not averse to swearing, the bandmembers don't swear allegiance to a particular genre of music, prefering instead to play the role of hungry scavengers with a taste for pop, jazz, R&B, funk, rock, hip-hop and reggae. As a result, their music is informed -- and sometimes whimsically deformed -- by whatever groove springs to mind, as long as it serves the quintets' high-spirited brand of turn-of-the-century vaudeville in which the spirits of Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway and Spike Jones are apt to commune with those of Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and Frank Zappa. Sure, a little of this sort of thing goes a long way, but at a time when retro pop fashions are increasingly dull and predictable, this brassy and loopy quintet of musicmakers is nice to have around.
Appearing Friday at the Black Cat. To hear a free Sound Bite from the Buck Dewey Big Band, call Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and press 8121. (Prince William residents, call 690-4110.)