I’ve been listening to CD that I just can’t get enough of. The Lost Fingers is a Quebec jazz trio named in tribute to Django Reinhardt’s 2 lost fingers (who turned a terrible manual injury into a technical advantage on the guitar). Performing jazz swing covers, double bassist Alex Morrisette and guitarists Christian Roberge and Byron Mikaloff have all their fingers, and have them poking about in the 80’s hit parade for tunes to twist in a lively, acoustic style. Material ranging from AC/DC and Soft Cell to Paula Abdul and George Michael. The first track is telling—the trio’s cover of Technotronic’s “Pump Up the Jam” may be the most absurd inclusion, but possibly the strongest.
The Lost Fingers—Lost in the 80’s is just plain fun! Who would have ever thought that Samantha Fox’s “Touch Me” could be sung in a gypsy swing? What would Stevie Wonder say about his“Part-time Lover” sung with Quebecer’s bouncing jazz harmonies…? Maybe it’s because the 80’s represent my high school and college years, but I can’t help but smile when I hear a boggie swing of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”. When you listen to “You Shook Me All Night Long”, you might think that Randy Newman was on the disc playing and singing a cameo. The fact that a Jazz trio could take an AC/DC song and put doo-wops and scat in it is nothing short of genius! I was never a Paula Abdul fan, but it is a kick to tap your foot to her “Straight Up” without the aid of drum machines (BTW: no drums at all on the disc) or synthesizers.
Though it may be a little bit of a shtick, The Lost Fingers have a really cool concept here. Idiosyncratic, unusual and entertaining are all words to describe this musical escapade you’ll be sure to enjoy.