STOMP OFF CD1293 1995 14 tracks 64 min

Froggie Moore, Loving, I Wish I Were Twins, Sweetie Dear, Keepin' Out Of Mischief Now, Riffs, 12TH Street Rag, Nobody But My Baby Is Getting My Love, Truckin', Rocking Chair, Cushion Foot Stomp, F Minor Stride, Whinin' Boy Blues, Thou Swell

Being a typical Englishman, I find it hard to concede that anything decent can come out of France. In the past I have been known to acknowledge the quality of their coffee, cigarettes (though my wife hated them), and Citroen cars. To that list I must now add Paris Washboard.

Paris Washboard consists of Alain Marquet on clarinet, Daniel Barda on trombone, Louis Mazetier on piano and Gerard Bagot on washboard. On this album they have guests Peter Ecklund on trumpet and Gerard Gervois on tuba to help them out and broadened the sound. Altogether they produce a wonderful form of idiosyncratic jazz. Being French, I suppose this was to be expected. The sound is definitely traditional jazz, but it defies definition. The tunes are a mix of the familiar and the downright obscure; all played with gusto. And what of the washboard? Well percussionist Gerard Bagot plays everything from cymbals to blocks, from wind chimes to the wall! Really it is rather like Beryl Brydon meets the Temperance Seven's Professor (Emeritus) Brian Innes and his grand jazz percussion kit.

Do I like this CD? Well my wife has just asked me how many times I intend to keep hitting the repeat button as she has already got to know the tunes off by heart!