Nasty Habit

I’m not likely to throw a theme party in honor of the Mad Men TV show anytime soon, but if I were to do that, I’d plan to have this album playing when my guests arrived. It’s all smoky sax of the kind once associated with raunchy sex and martinis and noirish nights of intrigue. Ron Dziubla is a tenor- and baritone-sax man who seems to have a keenly articulated sense of the kind of blues once referred to as “gutbucket.” The closing track, for instance, is a Dziubla original he calls “Bordello,” and it conjures languidly funky images of a “gentleman’s club” in the French Quarter, circa 1956. His “Lemon Drop Martini” could have played behind just about any episode of Mad Men, and his covers of “Harlem Nocturne” and “Night Train” conjure images of run-down burlesque theaters or steamy nights in Spanish Harlem. There are a couple of terrific guitar players backing him up on these nocturnal ramblings: James Intveld and R.J. Ronquillo will make you cock an ear to the liquidity of their guitar licks, when Dziubla’s sax isn’t transporting you to a smoky cocktail lounge with a broken neon sign that sputters as you enter.