CHRIS BURKE WITH PATRICK TEVLIN'S NEW ORLEANS RHYTHM
ALL I DO IS DREAM
Jazz Crusade JCCD 3121, 18 tracks 2006, 69 min
It Looks Like Rain In Cherry Blossom Lane, Spain, When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrani, My Little Girl, A White Sports Coat, China Boy, All I Do Is Dream Of You, Why Should I Cry Over You, Smiles, I'm Sorry I Made You Cry, Love Walked In, Four Leaf Clover, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square, Raining In My Heart, Paradise, Those Little White Lies, Falling In Love, Love Nest
On this CD (described by bass player, Colin Bray, as 'relaxed) clarinettist ex-pat Brit Chris Burke joins Canadians Reide Kaiser on piano, Patrick Tevlin on trumpet and fellow ex-pat Colin Bray for a session recorded in Toronto.
Now any collector of Jazz Crusade CDs will know, Kaiser & Bray, but Chris Burke, now resident in New Orleans, and Patrick Tevlin are less know outside their own haunts.
My knowledge of Burke, I regret to say comes from the Web, where his is constantly described as 'New Orleans' most authentic old-school clarinettist'. He is also apparently self-taught, and plays both E and B flat Albert systems instruments. If you want to hear the very pleasant sound of this jazzman you need to either visit New Orleans, or scratch around for one of the very few recordings he has appeared on during his long career.
Patrick Tevlin I knew of via Kjeld Brandt of New Orleans Delight, but this is the first time I have heard him play. Originally a trumpet player, like Cliff 'Kid' Bastien he heard Kid Thomas Valentine in New Orleans and built a style around that man's sound. Later he switched to clarinet and tenor sax and joined Bastien in The Happy Pals. On Bastien's death, Tevlin reverted to trumpet and took over the lead of the band.
There are none of the hack standards here. Some of the tunes I have by other jazz bands, but I haven't heard ' I'm Sorry I Made You Cry', 'Raining In My Heart' and 'Love Nest' jazzed up before. My only real complain is the shortness of most of the tracks, as I felt they could have been 'explored' more.
That's the background; so what about the sound?
A clarinet is often called a liquorice stick. Well Burke's playing is pure liquorice in most of its forms. Sweet as Bassett's liquorice log on 'Paradise' and 'Falling In Love Again'. As tasty as a Pontefract cake on 'My Little Girl'. As strong as Dutch drop on 'All I do is dream' (though I hasten to add that Burke never gets past double salt and nowhere near the eye screwing forte salt). This man really is a master of his instrument and varies his playing to fit the mood of the tune.
I am equally impressed by trumpeter Patrick Tevlin. In addition to Kid Thomas, he says he is influenced by DeDe Pierce, Kid Howard, Percy Humphrey and, of course, Kid Bastien. He makes extensive use of mutes and, to me, he has a rather Colyeresque sound at times whilst using them, especially on Derby mute. However, Tevlin's sound is much punchier than The Guv'nor's and distinctly his own man. Tevlin gives several solo breaks and, on the early part of 'Paradise', counters the sweet clarinet with a rasping horn to great effect.
The two frontsmen are ably backed by Kaiser and Bray and together they have laid down an album that I have no hesitation in recommending.
WILLIE THE WEEPER
Willie The Weeper, I Can’t Escape From You, Undecided, Confessing, It’s A Long Way To Tipperary, Love In Bloom, Bad Moon Rising, Moonlight & Roses, My Pussin, Trombonium, Honky Tonk Merry-Go-Round, Singing In M Y Soul, Martha, Bright Star, Sly Mongoose, God Will Take Care Of You
When I first put on this Canadian CD, which features Brit Brian Carrick on clarinet, I thought 1950s. No, not because of the engineering standards – this is definitely 21st C in this respect, or length of track – the tunes are all well worked, but because the music is honest and obviously played by musicians who love the music. In the 50s traditional jazz was an enthusiasts music, but in the early 60s there came the Trad boom and many played it because it was fashionable, whilst many others played it because its popularity meant you could make a decent living from playing it. When the boom busted with the arrival of The Beatles and the subsequent Mersey Beat, it was sad to see so many, including bands that came from the early 50s, change their style and direction in an attempt to remain in the money. You certainly found out who was into traditional jazz for love!
Tevlin plays a good trumpet with excellent mute work using a metal Derby hat that gives his sound great tonal variation. I am never sure in my mind if I like the use of a Derby because I am a Ken Colyer fan, or if I am a fan of Colyers because of his use of the Derby. Either way it is something I like and Pat is a master in its use.
I was pleased to hear Carrick stay on clarinet instead of his usual mix of clarinet and tenor sax as I feel that it gave Tevlin a more ‘sympathetic’ support; a tenor sax can overwhelm, especially in a two man frontline.
Colin Bray is a very solid string bass player and his occasional use of the bow was always appropriate and effective.
Roberta Hunt plays a stomping piano. The tone of the instrument was so very like that of the pub pianos still common in London when I was a boy. Because of its sound it reinforces in my mind the 50s feel. I can close my eyes and recall smoke filled Public Bars where I, as a very under aged patron, heard blues, jazz and boogie stomped out on beer soaked pianos of this ilk, though this one is in tune, and they frequently were not.
Many of the tunes are vocals with Patrick & Brian having numbers. Roberta also sings, and there is an interesting phenomena. On ‘Honky Tonk Merry-Go-Round’ she sounds great, on ‘Bad Moon Rising’ she sings a wonderful counterpoint backing but ‘Love in Bloom’ is the one that I can’t quite get my head around. I have her singing it on a Happy Pals CD and it was the same there. I think the song does not really suit her voice and she sounds strained and yet, and yet; I can’t get the damned thing out of my mind, even weeks after last hearing it – it just jumps into my head!
There is a great variety in the tune selection. Some are fairly regular jazz numbers (though I have never heard ‘Trombonium’ before played by a tromboneless jazz band), a tune popular with soldiers in the First Wold War, a 60s pop tune, a couple of Gospel numbers, some dance tunes and, shewing a similar like for the genre as Acker Bilk, a couple of rolling rhythm West Indies calypso tunes.
I note one of the said calypsos, ‘My Pussin’, was written by Lord Kitchener. Fortunately the lyrics, though suggestive, are less risqué than those of his ‘Dr Kitch’, a record my father had and used to play to annoy my mother who thought it was ‘dirty’.
I really enjoyed listening to this CD, and I have played it many times in the couple of months I have owned it. Should you wish to enjoy it too, you can get a copy from www.tevlin.ca
PATRICK TEVLIN’S NEW ORLEANS RHYTHM
PATRICK TEVLIN’S NEW ORLEANS RHYTHM FEATURING HANNAH KRAPIVINSKY (*)
New Orleans North CD-012, 2012,15 tracks, 51 min
Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen*, Marahuana*, Fidgety Feet, Harbour Lights*, I Believe In Miracles*, Just You-Just Me, Waiting At The End Of The Road, I Wish I Were Twins*, Am I Blue*, Exactly Like You*, Why Don’t You Do Right*, I’ve Heard That Song Before*, I’m In The Market For You, I’m Crazy ‘Bout My Baby*, Marahuana*
More sweet music from Patrick Tevlin’s New Orleans Rhythm and this time with 24 year old vocalist Hannah Krapivinsky. This is a truly inspired choice of vocalist as, despite her young age, she has a very mature and expressive voice. Her songs range from the very upbeat ‘Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen’ to the soulful ‘Why Don’t You Do Right’. My wife, who seems to know a surprising amount about contemporary female jazz singers, thought her ‘Marahuana*’ (track2) masterful. This album has two versions of the song. Version one could be called, I suppose, the ‘head’ version whilst I suppose the rougher edged version two of the song (track 15) would be the ‘cabbage’ version.
Patrick Tevlin is, as always, superb. His oft muted backing of Hannah reminded me of the 1955-56 Royal Festival Hall recordings of the Chris Barber Jazz Band where Pat Halcox did such sympathetic underscoring of Ottilie Patterson’s singing.
With Patrick in the trio are that ever reliable and versatile piano player Reide Kaiser and on bass Colin Bray playing with his usual verve.
Whilst talking about the bass an unusual thing: on my main stereo in the lounge I was impressed by the balance especially in regards to the bass. However, in my wife’s car (I only own motorcycles) I found that at times it could be intrusive. Time to rebalance the stereo in the car I think, if only I could remember where I put the handbook (its an age thing).
To sum up, a lovely CD that introduced me to a wonderful new young singer who, if there is justice in the world, will go far.
The CD is available from www.tevlin.ca
WHEN I GET LOW I GET HIGH
New Orleans North CD-014 2013 13 tracks 42min
When I Get Low I Get High, Bread And Gravy, And The Angels Sing, La Vie En Rose, Walking After Midnight, Heebie Jeebies, I Cover The Waterfront, Apple Blossom Time, Crazy, Smile, Perfidia, Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend, Stars Fell On Alabama
This has to be one of the best CDs I have got in recent years. To do a review I normally play a CD about 10 times in different settings (lounge, den, car, MP3, etc). After that if it really caught my fancy maybe once a year or so. If it isn’t so catchy it will get played only if I come across it whilst searching for a more favoured album. This CD has already been played more times than the others and I can see it being left in the collection in my lounge, where most of my CDs get played, so that I can play it again and again.
In an earlier review I said that I was very taken by young singer Hannah Krapivinsky; this album confirms to me just what a talent she is. Trumpeter Patrick Tevlin is his usual impressive self (the man plays as trumpet in the way I do in my head – bugle, hunting horn and Roman cornican being my limit). Piano man Mike Evin and bass player Lucas Gadke both make great contributions to what is best described as ‘smoky club’ jazz.
I don’t know what feeling or ambience Patrick had in mind when he set about making this album but for me I had pictures of wartime Canada. ‘I Cover the Waterside’ made me think of the many convoys that sailed from Canadian waters to Britain and just how many Canadian sailors never came back, leaving their loved ones haunting the waterside docks seeking news of their fate. I also thought of the many Canadians who were key in the European theatre at Dieppe, Juno Beach and paratroop operations during the D-Day invasion and later (yes children, the Johnny-come-lately Americans did not win World War II on their own despite what Hollywood would have you believe – the British Empire and Commonwealth put more men into the field than they did as well as having been fighting for two years before the Americans were forced into the War by Pearl Harbour). How many of those Canuk soldiers, in the last year of the War, wrote back to their sweethearts back home promising to return to marry them by ‘Apple Blossom Time’?
Strange isn’t it that a young singer in her 20s, born so long after the Second World War, could stir such nostalgia and such deep thoughts in me. Don’t get me wrong; this album does swing as well stir up those deep thoughts. Oh well I suppose ‘When I get Low – I get High’ and this CD is now one of my favourites and will be regularly played. The only thing wrong with it is I wanted it to be longer, Well maybe there will be another CD along from Patrick & Hannah before too long.
You want a soft copy, rather than the CD. Both versions can be purchased from www.tevlin.ca or www.HappyPals.ca I understand this applies to all the albums issued by New Orleans North.
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