JAZZ CRUSADE JCCD 3058 2001 17 tracks 70 min

You Don't Understand, East Coast Trot, Riverside Blues, Everywhere You Go, It Happened In Bali Bali, Let The Great Big World Keep Turning, It's Only A Paper Moon, I Don't See Me In Your Eyes Anymore, Over The Waves, Springtime In The Rockies, Crying Time, Mana Inez, Anytime, Pass Me Not Gentle Saviour, Love Letters In The Sand, Dreamy Moon Of Indiana (Algiers Waltz), Who's Sorry Now

Brian Carrick appears on several CDs in my collection playing with bands from The Ken Colyer Trust Band to the Heritage Hall Stompers, to playing with Greg Stafford. Now I have him leading the Algiers Stompers.

Brian is a skilled reedsman playing an ex-George Lewis clarinet, Alto and tenor saxes on this CD. To back him, he has gathered a group of similarly talented and dedicated jazzmen to play a relaxed style of New Orleans jazz that, as the cover notes say, is 'music to dance to'.

I was delighted to find that the CD contains many tunes that are either rarely played or even downright neglected. All the numbers are beautifully played, with Derick Winters on trumpet providing a strong lead, Chas Hudson playing an exuberant, yet thoughtful, trombone and Brian himself weaving the front line together. The back line provides a solid, but not over powering base for the front line to build on. Mike Lunn on piano occasionally gets a solo to shew his considerable abilities, Mike Cox, the banjo player, also gets a chance to pluck in the limelight. Whilst drummer Guy Fenton and Bass player Bill Cole miss out on solos, their presence is still heard throughout. Ah Bill Cole; does he still cuddle and make love to his bass as he did when he played with the Gov'nor?

This is a very pleasant CD that you can take with you 'Everywhere You Go'. Play it in the car, and its relaxed style will ensure that, what ever happens in the traffic, you will be too busy tapping your fingers and smiling to indulge in any road rage!



Jazz Crusade JCCD-3093 2004 11 tracks 73 min

When You’re Smiling, The Bucket’s Got A Hole In It, I Want To Be Happy, Make Me A Pallet On The Floor, Sing On, Melancholy, You Can Depend On Me, Lead Me Saviour, Canal Street Blues, Who’s Sorry Now, In The Sweet Bye & Bye

Big Bill Bissonnette had a problem with a title for this CD. Seeing as it was a mix of unused tracks from recording sessions that had been done for earlier albums he toyed with ‘Left-Overs’ and ‘Out-Takes’ but felt that they would put potential buyers off. Myself I think ‘A Brian Carrick Sampler’ would best describe this CD.

BBB is a very wise man in that, rather than select tunes and then get the band he is recording to keep playing them till he gets what he thinks is the best recording, he lets a band play a selection of tunes without repeat and then chooses what to put on the CD. The reason a tune may be left off is rarely because it is duff. Now, if like me, you make compendium CDs, you will be aware of the problems of fitting the maximum number of tracks on a CD: one tends to pick and mix to get the maximum ‘fill’, even if it means leaving a really good one off. Most of the tracks here come from that scenario, whilst some of the tracks with Freddie Lonzo were left off the earlier CD as BBB only wanted to use Brian playing clarinet as opposed to tenor sax on that album.

What you get here is a chance to hear a wonderful reeds player lining up with other world class jazzmen from around the world in a selection of line-ups. If you like what you hear, you can then buy JCCD-3053 where Brian plays with trumpeter Gregg Stafford; JCCD-3077 with trombonist Freddie Lonzo; or JCCD-3090 with alto-saxophonist Darryl Adams. Then, maybe you would just like to hear more of Brian with either his Heritage Quartet or his Algiers Stompers, both available on Jazz Crusade.

The first tune on this CD is ‘When You’re Smiling’. Buy this CD and you will be!



Jazz Crusade JCCD-3099 2004, 15 TRACKS 73 MIN

Wait Till The Sun Shines Nellie, Careless Love, Golden Leaf Strut, Lover, Maggie, My Josephine, Sweet Fields, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Collegiate, When I Grow Too Old To Dream, Should I, In The Upper Garden, I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now, My Life Will Be Sweeter Someday, The Eyes Of Texas

Whilst I like a reed led quartet, I normally find that after three tracks I have to switch to another CD and come back to the quartet later on as it all gets a bit much. Not with this CD – it is brilliant and has stood my playing back to back for the past four days of travelling to and from work without me getting either bored or suffering from reed overload.

Whilst much of the credit must go to Brian Carrick’s innovative, imaginative and inventive playing, his partners, Malcolm Hurrell on banjo, Bill Cole on double bass and Malc Murphy on drums are, I feel, the reason the album is so playable. Brian, mainly on clarinet and sometimes on tenor sax, gives his mates plenty of breaks to strut their stuff and that they do in fine style. Mind you, I have always admired Bill Cole, not just for his skill in playing but for his courage in taking on an instrument that dwarfs him, and there is always delight in the marvellous mad musical mayhem that is Malc Murphy, a fellow Colyer sidesman and a drummer who at times both sounds and looks like Animal in the Muppet’s band. But, even when backing Brian, as opposed to enjoying the freedom of a break of their own, they are no ‘chink, chink, chug, chug’ players and constantly compliment and musically comment on Brian’s playing. No, there is no such thing as boredom or fatigue when listening to this wonderful grouping of Brit jazzmen. This CD is highly recommended.




Jazz Crusade JCCD-3100 2004, 16 TRACKS 70 MIN

On The Road To Home Sweet Home*, Does Jesus Care?*, The Curse Of An Aching Heart*, Chloe*, Perdido Street Blues*, At The Cross+, Forgive Me+, Smile Darn You Smile+, Lead Me Saviour+, I’ll Be Somewhere Working For The Lord+, What A Friend We Have In Jesus+, When You Wore A Tulip+, Bugle Call Blues*, What Am I Living For?*, Swanee River*, Irregular Blues*

Inevitably when recording good traditional jazz bands you will record more than you can use. Normally you pick the best, bin the bad, and wonder what to do with the rest. Sometimes you add the remaining tracks to others you have and put out a compendium or maybe tag onto another band’s remainders to issue a mixed album of the leftovers. THIS CD IS NOT MADE UP OF LEFTOVERS!!! In fact, listening to tunes such as, ‘Does Jesus Care?’, ‘The Curse Of An Aching Heart’ and ‘At The Cross’, you may wonder if Jazz Crusade didn’t skim the cream off the top of the sessions to put on this CD.

If you have read my reviews of the two band’s own CDs and wondered if I had it right in giving them glowing reviews, then buy this one as a sampler and you will see that I am indeed justified in what I say. Then, no doubt, you will get straight onto Jazz Crusade and order the other CDs as well.

My only worry now is, having just lent this CD to my old dad, will he ever let me have it back?