Picks and Pans Review: Moodswing

updated 02/11/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/11/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

Robert Kraft and the Ivory Coast

Kraft is a cafe singer with a ruddy, intelligent face and a fondness for button-down oxford shirts. When he is seated at the piano, every phrase is awash with exuberance. One might compare him to Bobby Short, except that he is young, white, Harvard-educated and writes his own songs. They describe being hip and footloose in the big city, and at their best are bright, witty and touching. The adept Ivory Coast (violin, guitar, bass, drums) crisply fuses '70s jazz with swing. But on this debut album, Kraft and the Coast don't come across as well as they do before the small-club audiences that have made them a cult sensation in New York. It's a pity the whole album wasn't recorded live, instead of just two cuts.

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