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ERNIE CARSON & THE SOCIAL POLECATS

PINK ELEPHANTS

JHB BDC-307 1991 16 tracks 68 min

Mighty Oregon, Honey I Could Fall In Love, Molly Malone, Look What You Missed, I Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight, Rosalie, I Love My Steady (But I'm Crazy 'bout My Once In A While), Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gave To Me, Don't Monkey With It, Cinderella Girl, Bedelia, I Don't Care, All Raccoons Look Alike To Me, Sing Song Girl, When Your Hair Has Turned To Silver, Pink Elephants.

Whilst surfing the Internet, a pleasant lunch time pursuit, I explored the extensive Jazzology/GHB Records site in New Orleans. "My that is a big one George Buck" I said in the Visitor's Book, and by George it sure is. I downloaded the file for the traditional jazz section and read it later at my leisure. To while away another idle lunch time I sat and circled those CDs that, in the fullness of time, I would like to get. The list included this one as both the band's name and the names of many of the tracks intrigued and amused me. In 1996 Ernie came on a tour of Australia and New Zealand. I missed seeing him, but I got the CD! And I got it cheap too. It seems that, due to an administrative cock-up the CDs did not arrived in Australia until after Ernie left, and got here just as he was leaving. Rather than take them back stateside Ernie got the Auckland Vintage Jazz Club to sell them at cost price, and I was into them like a polecat down a trouser leg.

The band is in effect a supplemented Original Salty Dogs line-up. In addition to there is pianist Wally Rose, who started his jazz career with Lu Watter's Yerba Buena Jazz Band in the 1940s. The music is West Coast two beat with a fine tuba providing the pumping beat. This is good time jazz, with not a single blues number in sight. Despite his age George is still one of the most creative cornetists around and the whole band swing along in one number after another. In a depressed mood? Then play this CD, you just can't help but feel happy!


ERNIE CARSON & THE CASTLE JAZZ BAND

EVERY MAN A KING

JHB BDC-327 1994 13 tracks 68 min

With A Pack On My Back, Barefoot Days, A Real Live Girls, Sunshine, You Can Tell Her Anything Under The Sun, Roses And Rainbows, Soft Shoe Shuffle, Popsey Wopsey, At The Mardi Gras, I've Got Everything But You, The Villain, Livin' Out Of A Suitcase, Every Man A King.

Different name, same band - well almost, there is a different pianist on this one! Ernie Carson cornet, Kim Cusack clarinet, Tome Bartlett trombone, Pete Clute piano, Debbie Schreyer banjo, Mike Wallbridge tuba, Wayne Jones drums. Yet another stunning collection of little know tunes (I only have 'Barefoot Days' and 'At The Mardi Gras' by other jazz bands). The style is always a pacey two beat and the CD finishes before you know it as it stomps along at such a fine pace. I am not complaining, but after two Ernie Carson CDs I feel so hyped up that I have to find an album of blues numbers to wind down.

For anyone looking for an example of the best out west, either of the two CDs reviewed here are recommended.

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