“Imagine if Frank Sinatra hung out in New Orleans …” Dr. Daylight’s Jazz Company delivers nostalgic Prohibition-era jazz to Montana with concerts in Libby, Polson, Fort Benton, Eureka and Great Falls.
Since forming in 2018, the Lafayette, Louisiana-based ensemble has traversed traditional jazz standards and reconstructed top 40 arrangements, with a twist of jazz.
Their self-titled debut album, released in 2019, combines niche jazz with pop songs ranging from “Hotel California” to the American Songbook standard, “On the Sunny Side of the Street.” The song list even includes original compositions by bandleader Jake Spinella: “Second Line Snort” and” Boudoir Blues.”
Their latest release, Potluck, showcases an evolved sound; rich with brass, rhythm, and special arrangements crafted for the guest vocalists. The featured all-stars include Ray Boudreaux, Kelli Jones, Julie Williams, Linnzi Zaorski, Sasha Massey, Spencer Racca and Sarah Robinson.
Released in August 2021, the second album remains heavily influenced by traditional jazz associations and early NOLA funk with the first single titled “Mess Around” that mashes up Ray Charles’ tune of the same name and Professor Longhair’s “Big Chief”.
A cast of 15 worked on the 10-track release – up from the ensemble’s usual quintet.
“Much like a literal potluck where you want to contribute the dish you make best, all the musicians brought their own flavor to the table,” Spinella told Buzz Music. “It felt like we’d come full circle and were now creating a musical potluck.”
Most recently, notable crooner Spencer Racca has joined Dr. Daylight’s Jazz Company and delights crowds with his Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley vocal stylings.
Catch Dr. Daylight in Montana
Libby: Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Libby Memorial Center as part of the Kootenai Heritage Council series (libbyevents.com)
Fort Benton: Monday Feb. 13 at the elementary school auditorium auditorium as part of the Chouteau County Performing Arts series (fortbenton.com)
Polson: Friday, Feb. 17 at Polson High School as part of the Mission Valley Live! series (missionvalleylive.com)
Eureka: Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Lincoln County High School auditorium as part of the Sunburst Performing Arts series (sunburstarts.org)
Great Falls: March 3 at The Newberry for the Great Falls Symphony’s annual Black Tie/Blue Jeans benefit (www.gfsymphony.org/black-tie-blue-jeans)