'A nice over-the-shoulder glance at Louis Prima and Keely Smith for the 21st century!'
Prof. Stuart Nicholson, Senior Editor
'Classically trained bi-lingual vocalist Loxston and the Anglo-Italian Jazzato Band began performing together in 2016, appearing in festivals here and on the continent, and now here's their debut album. As Loxston says, they have focused on creating an uplifting album of original arrangements by using an eclectic mix of music forms, and so they have. Certainly influenced by the Louis Prima band sound and doubtless in sympathy with what Ray Gelato does so well, the accent here is on bright tempos, swinging saxophone figures (arranged by Stephanie Legg), and the kind of fast-moving shuffle rhythms that prompt feel-good outcomes. Loxston sings engagingly on the albums 11 tracks, in Italian or English, the band purposeful and eager behind her, guitarist Fabrizio Bonacci impressive as both sideman and composer. On an Evening in Roma' the opener sums up the band's attributes pretty well. The ensembles swing hard, solo playing is spot-on and Loxston's vocal is exuberant and undeniably cheery. The better known 'Quando, Quando, Quando' goes like the proverbial train, the alto and clarinet solos short and to the point. Much the same applies for the much loved 'Buonasera Signorina' slow to start before moving into a zippier pace good alto on this one too. With their mix of familiar Italian songs and cleverly structured originals, pin-point musicianship and sheer elan, Hetty and the Jazzatos are on to something. A good way to brush up your Italian too.'
The band that reveres the Italian classics and plays them with gusto and amore has a new CD called “Back in the Swing of Things.” Originally slated for release on Valentine’s Day, the delay is now timed with the re-opening of Pizza Express Soho. The album is comprised of eleven colorful and dynamic tracks like the catchy “Angelino,” the danceable “Quando, Quando, Quando” and the bouncy “At Dawn.” The strong, clear melodies sung by front woman Hetty Loxston, visceral rhythms and excellent, technically impressive musicianship (from vocals to clarinet to sax to percussion and more) provide a very polished and hearty experience.
DEBBIE BURKE, JAZZ AUTHOR
Hetty Loxston is an English vocalist who loves to sing in Italian. There is a good reason for that: the lady does it very, very well. In her repertoire one sometime finds old Neapolitan songs. Hetty and the Jazzato Band is the name of the group that the singer leads and that accompanies her. The invented name, Jazzato, illustrates well the spirit and the wit that characterizes their music: funny, pleasant, peaceful, and enjoyable, jazz with an Italian flavor, and a lot of swing. Jazz music it is, certainly, but in the easy category. There is nothing too complicated or excessively sophisticated here. More than educating your ears, Hetty and the Jazzato aim to please them. Cool and relaxing are keywords here. The recipe for success is simple: take good old, very popular Italian songs, essentially from the 1960s, with nice, catchy melodies, easy to memorize, and sing along to them; add a dash of easy jazz; mix and perform the whole with only a few basic instruments, so as to keep the set as minimalist as it can be; conclude with the icing on the cake, the jewel, the lovely voice of Hetty Loxston. Et voilà! Loxston’s website defines her songs nicely and aptly: sultry Latin vintage songs.
One of the band’s early hits is the excellent rendition of Tu Vuo Fà l’Americano (You want to be an American), a song by Renato Carosone and Nicola Salerno that was a big hit in Europe in the late 1950s. The lyrics are in Neapolitan, not in Italian. Wikipedia defines it as “a Romance language of the Italo-Dalmatian group spoken across much of mainland Southern Italy”.Watching the video on YouTube is a real delight; it delivers the typical sound of Loxston and her equally talented bandmates, combined with the visuals that convey the unique stage presence and spirited humour of the vocalist and her musicians. If this does not put you in a good mood, nothing will.
Pronouncing Neapolitan correctly is not for the faint-hearted, but Loxston does it particularly well. She lived and studied in Italy for several years.
The English musician liked the results and applied the same formula to other well-known Italian songs from yesteryears: Tintarella di Luna, Mambo Italiano, That’s Amore, Volare, and Love in Portofino, to name some. The band’s instruments consist of drums, an upright bass, a clarinet, and an electric jazz guitar. Sometimes a saxophone joins them. If you are talented, you do not need more to generate genuine swing. The joy, the liveliness, and the cheerful spirit of the musicians are infectious.
Continuing their success story, Hetty and the Jazzato Band have released an album titled Back in the Swing of Things. Essentially it follows in the steps of their early works and taps the traditional Italian repertoire, with one exception or two. Among the exceptions is Brucia la Terra, which is built on the music of the Godfather’s unforgettable movie theme composed by Nino Rota. It is better known in its English version as Speak Softly Love; it was sung by Andy Williams. It is still Italian music, of course, but is more recent than Renato Carosone’s and other compositions from the 1950s and the 1960s. On the same album, we find Quando, Quando, Quando (When, When, When), another well-known and popular Italian song that has been covered countless times by many artists and in several languages, including the English version by crooner Englebert Humperdinck. The original was penned by legendary Italian Tony Renis. It is one of the most beautiful tracks on the album. Loxston's interpretation is smart in the sense that although based on a song that was released in 1962, she manages to make it sound new, thanks to her very personal musical expression and style.
Credit must also go to the refined instrumental arrangements, and of course, to the pristine digital recording, both elements that largely contribute to creating a fresh sound. Loxston succeeds in keeping the spirit of the original piece while instilling a new musical flavour. Hetty and the Jazzato Band are a good example of how covers of great old songs may be used to please and entertain the listener when done with taste, talent, and simplicity.
Jean-Claude Elias, Jordan News
'We move back to the 1930/1940s swing era with this release, a heady mixture of Latin, Gypsy, jive and lively Italian folk melodies. The five- piece band has a very full sound, usually comprising clarinets, guitar, bass and drums. Hetty Loxton is the vibrant vocalist on every piece, evoking memories of the music of Louis Prima and others in that format with her upbeat singing. The music begins with On An Evening In Roma and continues with the more well known Quando, Quando, Quando. This is followed by Angelino, a favourite of Prima and sung and played here with a samba-type bounce. As this music is spoken of as Italian in concept by the musicians in the sleeve notes, I thought perhaps it originated there but it was recorded at The Cow Recording Shed Studio in London, believe it or not and, of course, the music mixes several Latin and other genres. It is certainly bright, happy music from start to finish, if lacking a little in originality. On several tracks Richard Muscat and Stephanie Legg play simultaneous clarinet solos together, swinging it briskly along with the rhythm section. Along with the familiar material are two compositions by the guitarist on the date, Fabrizio Bonacci. At Dawn is a medium-up swing track and Southern Impressions is a medium-tempo song inspired by the Mediterranean sea. Both are attractive melodies that the band and Hetty attack joyously. The group is made up of three Italian musicians and three with European or English names, so it is a mixed country offering. The music, light and bouncy and firmly in that Latin jazz groove is bright and swinging lightly.'
Derek Ansell, Jazzviews
We had Hetty and the Jazzato Band onboard in Portovenere, Italy for a guests birthday party on 17th June 2017. It was there first time onboard a superyacht performing and they were seamless and incredibly professional. They were perfect for our Italian theme and Hetty’s voice was beautiful. The guests thoroughly enjoyed their performance with energy and great charisma. I cannot recommend them enough, they made an already great night unforgettable for our guests.
Shelley Butler, Chief Stewardess, Motor Yacht Kamino
I booked the Jazzato Band for a surprise party, they were suggested by another musician & friend, he told me that Jazzato Band is the best. And he was right! :) They are amazing, it was a great performance by all the band members, their Italian repertoire it's great. They also prepared few songs for the guest of honor to sing. She had great fun! The feedback from all the guest was really positive. Will really recommend them! Thanks guys hope to work with you again.
Don Thushari Fashion Stylist & Events (Private Event) 10/10
I booked Hetty & the jazz band for an Italian themed cocktail party for a pop up shop launch in London. They were flexible with numbers and budget for me (I only needed a 3 piece, not the traditional 5 piece group). They also had to play outside and we're very accommodating of that and brought their own speakers / soft music btw sets. So I didn't need to worry about anything music related on the evening which was a real relief. And they were great. They really lifted and helped make the party a huge success and were truly perfect for our event. I had them sing only Italian themed songs, but they would be wonderful at any style of jazz performance. Easy to work to work with and incredibly professional - I highly recommend. Sarah
Sarah Watson, Balineum Founder (Italian Themed Pop Up Party) 10/10
"I loved your jazzy version of Volare!"
Celebrity Chef Gennaro Contaldo, The English Italian Awards, September 2016, Manchester Palace Hotel
"Hetty and her band surpassed all our expectations they are so unique and had everyone on the dance floor. Wished we had booked them for the whole evening."
Jacquie Walters (Anniversary Party, September 2016)
We chose Hetty and the Jazzato Band because they looked and sounded like a class act online- and they were on our wedding day! Hetty was professional and friendly from the off and met with me at the venue to discuss the event. The P.A. system being offered by my venue wasn't suitable for a band and Hetty sourced a suitable one at a better price. The band did 3 x 45 minutes sets of brilliant stuff, including all of our requests and Hetty did a playlist of my choosing for the intervals. The band are talented and trained musicians who charge a fair price for their services. All the guests had a good dance and have since sung their praises to me. They were the perfect band, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend them and we look forward to seeing them again soon. Grace and Robert
Grace Forge (Wedding June 2016) 10/10
"We came across Hetty and the Jazzato band while looking for a band for our Anglo-Italian wedding and I am so happy we found them! These guys were simply phenomenal, the performance was great and all the guests still compliment them to this day. From the first exchange of email Hetty was extremely helpful and accommodating, she gave us plenty of her time and went above and beyond to help me through organising everything - from picking a nice set list to helping us hire the best pa system. I have no words to thank these guys enough, as without them the wedding would have not been the same. Lovely people, but mostly absolutely amazing artists."
Mary, Anglo-Italian Wedding, London 11/10
"Hetty & the Jazzato Band were amazing! What a brilliant atmosphere you created for us. Thank you so much!"
Marianne Barlow, Jumierah Carlton Tower Hotel, Knightsbridge
"Hetty and the Jazzato Band are absolutely fantastic. Despite not speaking a word of italian, we were happy listening to them all night - to be fair, they really could have kept singing for the entire evening. I've seen them sing a few times now, and my friends are always impressed with just how amazing Hettys voice is. I've become a big fan and will defo consider hiring them for any events I have. Also, you'll know most of the italian songs they sing!"
Louie Rodrigues, Upstairs at the Ritzy, London 10/10
"You were my perfect Birthday evening. Absolutely amazing. Hoping you have an album out soon."
Kevin Larder, London
"Had a great time listening to you all at Wilton's Music Hall last night. Such fabulous musicianship and great vocals. People were dancing, clapping and singing to your wonderful set list. You perform something that everyone can enjoy, and we all had a lot of fun. We will definitely go to see you perform again soon."
Margaret, Wilton's Music Hall, London
"Brilliant evening on Monday watching Hetty and her band. Everyone, of all ages seemed to be having fun. Wilton's is an intimate venue perfectly suited to the bands music. I would definitely go to see them again."
Sandra Harrington, Wilton's Music Hall, London