Swimming fish

The Blue-Hots Collection Three 2014-2015: Spells (Self-released) www.theblue-hots.com The laughter at the end of Gimme Something conveys the excitement and pleasure the Blue-Hots must have felt in the studio. This opening track presents their skill at jazz vocalese, adding lyrics to a line that might normally be played by trumpet or saxophone. From there, these locals move into exotica territory, playing slow vamps that create a languid, sensual atmosphere, which get embellished with layers of harmonies, counter-melodies and some sharp scat singing. They also pull off a major accomplishment: adding occasional spoken-word sections that sound like neither beatnik-poetry parodies nor overly sincere attempts at that antiquated style. The reverb on the entire production gives the music a nice dreamy sheen, but the voices often get a little lost, as if everyone were leaning in toward the same microphone. It might work onstage, but it loses a little clarity in the studio. By Mike Shanley