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PETER NISSEN’S NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND WITH TUBA FATS & LINDA YOUNG*

AFTER YOU’VE GONE

Jccd-3122 Jazz Crusade 2007, 17 tracks, 75min

Move The Body Over, Loch Lomond, Coffee Grinder Blues*, It Had To Be You, May The Circle Be Unbroken*, Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans*, Dummy Song, After You’ve Gone, Old Grey Bonnet, His Eye Is On The Sparrow*, Darkness On The Delta, Birth Of The Blues*, Roses Of Picardy, At The Cross*, Ting-A-Ling, This Train, Oh Didn’t He Ramble

Any CD that has the late Tuba Fats on it will attract me, for anything he is involved in will challenge me and my preconceptions of just what is, and what isn’t, New Orleans jazz. These 1995 tracks were recorded in Denmark when Tuba and his wife Linda toured with Dane Peter Nissen. Now the challenge was not Tuba’s playing, which is always of the sublime rather than the banal ‘ompah, ompah’ (listen to his solo breaks, especially on ‘It Had to be You’); rather it was Nissen’s front line – it consists entirely of reeds! Listen to ‘After You’ve Gone’ and ‘Dummy Song’ in particular and you hear the expected clarinet, but a soprano sax taking the trumpet/cornet role and a tenor sax the trombone role. Fascinating & in fact quite challenging to any preconceptions you may have.

The late Linda Young is a ‘blues shouter’ and she sure can shout the blues, as you will hear on ‘Coffee Grinder Blues’, but she also shews that she could moderate her voice like on ‘Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans’. The notes say that her death broke Tuba Fats’ heart and he was never quite the same afterwards, which I find quite touching.

This type of New Orleans jazz comes via R&B with a dash of New Orleans style marching band. This last bit is acknowledged on the final track ‘Oh Didn’t He Ramble’ when Pete Nissen joins some NO stalwarts on bass drum whilst Milton Batise & his wife reminisce in a voice over.

This is great fun to listen to and, because of its unique style, may appeal to a wider audience than many other traditional jazz CDs.


ENCORE: BIG BILL & SAMMY – A VESPERS CHURCH SERVICE IN DENMARK

BIG BILL BISSONNETTE & SAMMY RIMMINGTON

WITH PETER NISSEN’S NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND

Jazz Crusade JCCD-3127 2007, 13 tracks 76 min

Lord Lord Lord, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, Old Time Religion*, Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen*, Lead Me Saviour, His Eye Is On The Sparrow, This Little Light Of Mine*, Walking With The King, Old Fashion Love, Tipi-Tin, Summertime, The Man I Love*, Yes Sir That’s My Baby*

I enjoyed the previous Peter Nissen CD & I was delighted to find another CD of his on Jazz Crusade’s label. The fact that it also featured Big Bill Bissonnette & Sammy Rimington made it into a must have. The frontline, however, is more conventional than that on the CD with Tuba Fats, with just Leif Madsen and Sammy Rimington on reeds. Joining them and Nissen’s solid backline, is Joe Errington on trumpet and B3, of course, on trombone.

The two reedsmen do an excellent job together, so there is interweaving rather than clashing and tangling. Sometimes they are both on either clarinet or alto sax, sometimes one on each. Two tracks where their harmony shew up very clearly are ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’ and ‘Old fashioned Love’.

B3 I always enjoy listening to as he can easily move from raucous to silky smooth in the slide of a trombone. ‘Papa’ Joe Errington on first hearing caused my right eyebrow to rise at times, though he also made me chuckle with delight elsewhere. However, the more I play the CD, the more I appreciate his playing, especially his mute work.

The tracks are from a 1993 tour of Denmark and recorded at Roskilde (a place I know & love). The first 8 tracks are from a church service & are all standard jazz gospel numbers. The remaining 5 tracks are from the following concert. Despite my love of gospel songs I must admit it is the latter that caught my ear as the rendition of ‘Summertime’ must be just how the composer intended it to be. B3 takes the intro and the rest follow on in the same lazy, hazy, almost dreamy tone & if that ain’t summertime, then you must live in the Antartic! The next track, ‘The Man I Love’ is just as wonderful with Lise Borgwardt shewing on this, and her other tracks (*), what a fine jazz singer she is. This lady has the type of voice that is best suited to traditional jazz in all its shapes & forms: full, well rounded, emotive and carefully inflected.

I am sure my wife wonders why I keep getting more & more jazz CDs, especially as I often complain how little I get to play them at present, but how can one resist when there are albums like this one just waiting to be got? The truth is, I would have had this CD for ‘just the ‘Summertime’ track alone.

I have just gone to merge & upload my files and find that I have two other CDs with this line up from the same tour: 'Sammy & Big Bill in Denmark', JCCD 3117/18.


SAMMY RIMINGTON, BIG BILL BISSONNETTE

IN DENMARK

Volume 1

Jazz Crusade 2006 JCCD 3117 64 min 9 tracks

Bogalusa Strut, Darkness On The Delta, Lord Lord Lord, After You’ve Gone, Should I, Rose Room, Just A Little While To Stay Here, Somebody Stole My Gal, The Work Is Waiting For The Sunrise

 

Volume 2

Jazz Crusade 2006 JCCD 3118 64 min 8 tracks

St Louis Blues, When My Dreamboat Comes Home, Ice Cream, Papa Joe’s Davenport Blues, In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree, I’m Alone Because I Love You, C-Jam Honeysuckle Rose

 

These two CDs are from a live concert recorded on 09 September 1993 at the Jaegersborg Hotel. The front line consists of Big Bill on trombone, Sammy and Leif Madsen, both playing clarinet and alto-sax, Papa Joe Errington on trumpet, and the back line has Peter Nisson on drums, Hendrik Stiigvad banjo/guitar and Holden Fogh on bass.

B3 and Sammy are so well known that they need no introduction, but I must say that B3 is at his peak on this recording. Joe Errington soon afterwards joined Papa Bue’s Viking Jazz Band and I saw him with them in 1995 when it was he who held the band together as Bue seemed to spend more time tippling than playing. B3 says Errington plays with shades of Armstrong and tinges of Beiderbecke. To me he plays in a similar vein to fellow Englishman Pat Halcox. Of the others Leif Madsen provides a sympathetic foil to Rimington and part of the enjoyment is listening to see who is playing what on the each of the tunes. The rhythm section is very competent, the only thing though is that the bass is rather over amplified (this is more noticeable on a personal player than on a main sound system).

I suppose the big thing for me was that from the first bars of Bogalusa Strut, with Rimington bringing the tune in, all I wanted to do was play alongside the band. This infection was bad enough when I did it in my head, but I was found to be annoying my fellow bus passengers by humming or whistling out loud. God help me, but when the wife was out shopping on a Saturday morning, I could even be caught using my replica 14thC hunting horn as a 2nd trombone. It really does make you want to join in and, at least in your head or with something more versatile than modified cow’s horn, you can pick a different instrument to be each time you play them! Honestly; with tunes that are as familiar as this and the way the music is presented, it is the ideal vehicle for any would be jazz player to learn the music by jamming alongside the band. This music really moves you and it would have to be a real jazz hater who didn’t get caught up in the sound and want join in.

The tunes, as I have said, are mostly standards and even the lesser known ‘In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree’ and ‘Rose Room’ I have by others. Of interest; ‘Ice Cream’ features both reedsmen on clarinet, as per Dutch Swing College, ‘Papa Joe’s Davenport Blues’ is a trumpet solo and on the stomping version of ‘In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree’, B3 treats us to some unique lyrics. The style of the band is club New Orleans, except on ‘C-Jam Blues’ which, as goes with the tune, is quite main stream.

I loved these CDs, but my family and the people on the bus aren’t so keen, or was it just my contribution to the music they didn’t appreciate?


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