DUTCH SWING COLLEGE BAND
SWINGING STUDIO SESSIONS
Philips 1984, 824 256-2 18 tracks, 62 min.
At the Jazzband Ball, Savoy Blues, Fidgety Feet, See see rider, Royal Garden Blues, Some of these Days, Tiger Rag, Just a Closer Walk with Thee, March of the Indians, Sister Kate, Working on the Railroad, East St. Louis Toodle-o, Cornet Chop Suey, Sleepy Time Down South, Dippermouth Blues, Shake it and Break it.
There are very few Traditional Jazz Bands with a four man front line, and of those that have even fewer that manage to keep that extended front line in balance. The Dutch Swing College Band is the only one that I know that not only maintains that balance but also manages to produce the counter points and harmonies that is so essential a part of Traditional Jazz. The tracks on this CD are from 1959-69, most published on other albums. The style is Dixieland with a series of solos and well orchestrated arrangements. It is easy to criticise the Band for the fact that once they have arranged a tune they tend to continue to play exactly the same way; I have noticed this with their live performance, even when several years apart ! Despite this criticism I must admit that they are smooth, professional, and I like them.
There are no duff tracks, but some are better than others. My favourite upbeat track is "At the Jazzband Ball", which really moves along, and my favourite downbeat track is "See See Rider" which features some excellent clarinet and muted trumpet playing together with some good ensemble work. There is also a very emotive version of Ellington's popular "Mood Indigo", and the nicest version I have heard of his less popular "East St. Louis Toodle-o". If you are into curiosities listen to "Royal Garden Blues" where Pete Schilperoort uses a baritone sax in the role of a tuba. I like this CD, and I am sure many of you will too.
THE DUTCH SWING COLLEGE BAND
LIVE IN 1960
Dixie Gold (Phillips) CD 838 765-2 15 tracks 46 min
Way Down Yonder In New Orleans, South Rampart Street Parade, Apex Blues, Ory's Creole Trombone, Mood Indigo, King Of The Zulus, Opus 5, Tin Roof Blues, Freeze An' Melt, Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone, Out Of The Gallion, Carry Me Back To Old Virginny, Jazz Me Blues, Weary Blues, Way Down Yonder In New Orleans.
Just what does one make of the DSCB ? Over the years they have had a wide variety of jazz styles, mainly traditional in orientation, had a lot of members using a selection of instruments, played a vast selection of tunes, and have always been most professional, and yet many have dismissed them as serious jazzmen. Perhaps they just reflect the archtypical Dutchman: independent, inventive, sometimes colourful, but always solid. and precise. It is easy to criticise the fact that once the DSCB have played a tune they tend to continue to play it unchanged, reflecting their "Dixie" rather than New Orleans style. When buying DSCB material I tend to get pre 1963 albums as they can get rather "Mainstream" after that, though they do seem to be finding their way back of late. The truth about this CD is that many of the tunes, though very "traditional" in style are a bit play by numbers. There is also a lot of class too. Listen to Apex Blues with its unusual opening clarinet duet, it progresses into a somewhat orchestrated number, but it is beautiful. Then there is Mood Indigo with Jan Morks playing a stirring clarinet in what could be the definitive version of the Ellington tune. Try King of the Zulus with Oscar Klien filling his muted cornet with growling menace. Tin Roof Blues is perhaps typical of The Band: a thought out arrangement, but very moving and free with all the nuances one expects from Traditional Jazz.. An excellent album by The Band at their best.
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