LAKE LACD65 1996 13 tracks 72 min

In The Sweet Bye & Bye; Careless Love; Perfect Rag; Perdido Street Blues; Ponchartrain Blues; Martha; Purple Rose; Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime; Royal Garden Blues; Goin' Home Now.

Well the album notes say that the Black Eagles Jazzband has a distinct sound of their own that defies classification, and they are right. Their music is not Trad, West Coast, New Orleans, or Chicago; it is Black Eagles' jazz, taking strands from all the traditional jazz styles and blending them into a very listenable and enjoyable mix. Taken from three recording sessions in 1981, 1983 and 1984 the selection of numbers is a mix of well know and lesser know jazz numbers of various types. Leader, Tony Pringle, plays a staccato cornet with regular and meaningful use of mutes (also his singing voice is the nearest to Bob Wallis' cracked sound I have heard!), trombonist Stan Vincent is rock steady and clarinettist Rudi Ballieu on the first eight tracks and reeds man Hugh Blackwell on the remaining, are world class. Put this together with a good rhythm section centred around tuba player Eli Newburger and the honky-tonk piano of Butch Thompson, and you have a CD you will keep on playing time and again.

The notes also say that this is an American band. Well, from the accent of Pringle and the names of some of the band members, there some European ex-pats in there. But, hey, jazz is international, and this band deserves an international audience.