Turning its flirtations with live music into a solid weekly commitment, the Vapor Room has recruited New York transplant Ernie Savage to take over the regular Thursday-night slot once occupied by high-profile, self-hyping DJ Sean Carnahan. Leaving little question that he was up to the gig, the singer/band director has pieced together the Ernie Savage Revival, an immensely entertaining swing and jump-blues revue that typically features well-seasoned local jazz players such as Kelly Dean and Mike Wheeler.

"I usually keep to four horns and a four-piece rhythm section," says Savage. "I'm doing lots of Ellington and straight, authentic Louie Jordan, right off the record -- except I open it up for solos."

While his Vapor Room run lasts until June 18, Savage is already fielding offers to play elsewhere. And from what he's seen of it, he's impressed with the local scene: "I love Houston. It's ripe, it's full of talent, people come out to see you. This place is great."

Obviously, the man is from out of town.

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