Best Neo-Jazz Outfit: Jim Morey Band

Trumpeter/warm drawling vocalist Jim Morey leads this capable quartet featuring bassist Ann Van Atta, banjo player David Crisler, and drummer Billy Carr (all four of them also current members of Lounge Cat). The band offers a fresh take on old jazz using swing and muddy river Creole as their foundation, incorporating elements of gypsy, ragtime and stumbling roots rock, and then spicing things up with electronics (Crisler has a synthesizer hooked up to his banjo), humorous textures (kazoo, washboard, bike horn, slide whistle), and the occasional one-man low-end display by Carr, who plays bass and drums simultaneously (and quite proficiently) when Van Atta can’t make a gig.

About Daily Best of the Bay: CL writers and editors are previewing their selections for Best of the Bay 2009. All of their choices, plus the winners of this year’s Readers’ Poll, will be revealed in the BOTB issue Sept. 16. Or you can learn the results in advance by attending The Loafies awards party tonight, from 7 to 10 p.m., at the Creative Loafing offices (810 N. Howard Ave., Tampa).

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