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DARRYL ADAMS

ALBION JAZZ BAND

RED ALLEN

JIMMY ARCHEY

LOUIS ARMSTRONG

MICKY ASHMAN

KENNY BALL'S JAZZMEN

BARFOTA JAZZ BAND

CHRIS BARBER

PAUL BARBAIN'S ONWARD BRASS BAND

JOHN BARNES & ROY WILLIAMS FEATURING DIGBY FAIRWEATHER

CLIFF 'KID' BASTIEN

MILTON BATISTE

ERIC BATTY'S JAZZ ACES

GRAEME BELL

SYDNEY BECHET

RICHARD BENNETT'S NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND

ACKER BILK

CUFF BILLETT

BIG BILL BISSONNETTE & THE EASY RIDERS JB

BIG BILL BISSONNETTE &his INTERNATIONAL JAZZ BAND

THE BLACK EAGLES

CHRIS BLOUNT'S NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND

ALEX BRADFORD

KJELD BRANDT

DAVE BRENNAN'S JUBILEE JAZZ BAND

BERYL BRYDEN AND THE BLUE BOYS

PAPA BUE'S VIKING JAZZ BAND

ALBERT BURBANK

CHRIS BURKE

DIZZIE BURTON'S JAZZ ACES

BRIAN CARRICK'S ALGIER'S STOMPERS

ERNIE CARSON

DOC CHEATHAM & NICHOLAS PAYTON

CHURCH ALLEY IRREGULARS

LEE COLLINS

IAN MENZIES & HIS CLYDE VALLEY STOMPERS

KEN COLYER

THE KEN COLYER TRUST BAND

GEOFF COLE'S RED HOT SEVEN

MAX COLLIE RHYTHM ACES

COUSIN JOE

THE JIM CULLUM JAZZ BAND

MIKE DANIEL'S DELTA JAZZMEN

SONNY DEE ALL-STARS

GOFF DUBBER WITH THE NEVILLE DICKIE TRIO

DUTCH SWING COLLEGE BAND

FAIRWEATHER FRIENDS

TUBA FATS

FRITZEL'S NEW ORLEANS' BAND

THE FRENCH PRESAVATION NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND

FROG ISLAND JAZZBAND

GAMBIT JAZZMEN WITH TIM LAUGHLIN

JAQUES GAUTHE

HARRY GOLD & his PIECES OF EIGHT

GOTA RIVER JAZZMEN

ALAN GRESTY/BRIAN WHITE RAGTIMERS

LEE GUNNESS

PAT HALCOX ALL STARS

Capt. JOHN HANDY

HAPPY PALS

PAT HAWES 2000 BAND

HARLEM KIDDIES

HIGH SIERRA JAZZ BAND

SOREN HOULIND'S COPEHHAGEN BAND

HOT STUFF

COLIN KINGWELL'S JAZZ BANDITS

SVEN LANGE'S NEW ORLEANS KIDS

TIM LAUGHLIN

CY LAURIE

DENISE LAWRENCE

GEORGE LEWIS

TERRY LIGHTFOOT

FREDDY LONZO

HUMPHREY LYTTLETON

JACK MacLAUGHLIN

PHIL MASON'S NEW ORLEANS ALL-STARS

GEORGE MELLY

THE MERSEYSIPPI JAZZ BAND

MARILYN MIDDLETON-POLLOCK

MICK MULLIGAN & HIS MAGNOLIA JAZZ BAND

PAUL MUNNERY & HIS BAND

NEW ORLEANS DELIGHT

PETER NISSEN'S NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND

KID ORY

PARIS WASHBOARD

WILBUR de PARIS

TONY PYKE

DAN PAWSON

ALTON PURNELL

REUNION JAZZBAND

SAVANNA JAZZ BAND

SACKVILLE ALL STARS

THE SAINTS JAZZBAND

ERIC SILK AND HIS SOUTHERN JAZZ BAND

OMER SIMEON

ZUTTY SINGLETON

KEITH SMITH

SORGENFRI KIRKE CONCERTS

MUGGSEY SPANIER

SARAH SPENCER'S RUE CONTI JAZZBAND

STUDIO BANDS

GREG STAFFORD

MONTY SUNSHINE'S JAZZBAND

THE SWEDISH JAZZ KINGS

SWEET MARY CAT

JACK TEAGARDEN

THE TEMPERANCE SEVEN

PATRICK TEVLIN

NORMAN THATCHER'S RAGTIME BAND

THE TWIN CITY STOMPERS

TUBA SKINNY

CHRIS TYLE

KID THOMAS VALANTINE

THE VINTAGE JAZZ BAND (New Zealand)

THE VINTAGE JAZZ BAND (France)

BOB WALLIS AND THE STORYVILLE JAZZMEN

GEORGE WEBB'S DIXIELANDERS

ALEX WELSH AND HIS BAND

WEST JESMOND RYTHM KINGS

IAN WHEELER

THE IAN WHEELER/SAMMY RIMINGTON BAND

Dr MICHAEL WHITE

THE NEW WOLVERINE JAZZ ORCHESTRA

THE YORKSHIRE JAZZ BAND

COMPENDIUM ALBUMS


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JAZZ CD REVIEWS


PAPA BUE'S VIKING JAZZ BAND

PAPA BUE'S VIKING JAZZ BAND / GREATEST HITS

Storyville 1987 STCD 836 12 tracks 36 min

Praise of Nyboder, Schlafe Mein Prinzchen, 1919 March, The Old Spinning Wheel, Wiegenlied, Saints, Roll Jordan Roll, Lil'Liza Jane, Une Claire de Lune A Maubeuge, Everybody loves Saturday Night, Blueberry Hill, Down by the Riverside

The first album of Papa Bue's I saw, I almost never bought. I mean, a jazz band dressed as Vikings, complete with the historically incorrect horned helmets. Would you take them seriously? Well the record was cheap, so I asked to hear it (remember those heady days when shops allowed you to play several albums before selecting which you wished to buy?). Despite appearance the band was very good. This CD contains material from 1958 - 70. I don't know about greatest hits, but it certainly is worth listening to. Many of the tracks are of material little recorded by jazzbands, and the production standards are excellent. Whilst the music is not as improvised as perhaps a New Orleans based band should be, Papa Bue and his boys avoid the string of solos trap that many popular bands of this period fell into. My only disappointment was the fact that there were no Joplin rags included, as Bue is a Joplin interpreter par excellence.

Tracks to listen out for are the lilting Schlafe Mein Prinzchen (Goodnight Sweet Prince), and Wiegenlied (Brahm's lullaby), unusual both for its inclusion and treatment. The best example of the band's casual orchestration is Roll Jordan Roll, and it is my favourite track. The next two tracks, however, show how easy it is to slip from casual to over orchestration. This is nit picking, the Viking Jazzband is an excellent outfit, particularly Finn Otto Hansen on tpt, and Jorgen Svare clt , and this is a CD worth buying. The only thing I didn't really like was the perversion of the lyrics on 'Down by the Riverside', quite un-necessary.

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ALBION JAZZ BAND

ONE FOR THE GUV'NOR

Stomp Off CD 1206 1990 16 tracks 71min

Sweet Fields, Early Hours, A Miner's Dream of Home, Harlem Rag, La Harpe Street Blues, Take it easy, It Looks Like a Big Time Tonight, One for the Guv'nor, Stock Yard Strut, Black Cat on the Fence, Lead me Saviour, Barefoot Boy, Thriller Rag, If I Ever Cease to Love, Goin' Home, Blame it on the Blues

This one of several "tribute" albums put out by bands playing in the Ken Colyer style. This band is a mix of members from several North American jazz bands. Interestingly two of the members are British ex-pats, funny how they keep cropping up as a driving force in what was a black American music style. As with any Colyer "tribute" album, it is the cornet player who gets the most interest: Tony Pringles plays in Ken's style, but not slavishly so. There are times when he seems to lack the desired fluidity and I wonder if he is more used to a trumpet than the harder to play cornet. I also feel that he and the trombone player, a sufficiently raucous Jim Klippert, did not make sufficient use of mutes, essential if you are to achieve anything like the Colyer sound. Perhaps I have missed the point and am trying to make the band imitate Ken rather than play a tribute to him. The player who really impressed me was the clarinet player, Gerry Green, very nice. All in all it's a good CD and it is hard to believe that this is a scratch band that only got together the night before the recording, though this may be reflected in the short duration of some of the tracks.

Several tunes caught my ear, the first being a smooth La Harpe Street Blues. Stock Yard Strut is another noticeable track, this time an up beat number that moves along. My favourite is a moving Barefoot Boy. This tune was my theme song during the years that my wife and I saved up to swop London's grime for New Zealand's green (and yes I do now live as a barefoot boy in a little old country town). I should also mention Blame it on the Blues, a well played tune featuring some quality bass playing. This is laid back jazz, with no strain. Just as it should be on a tribute to the Guv'nor.

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JACK TEAGARDEN

JAZZ ORIGINAL - JACK TEAGARDEN 1954

Affinity CD Charly 80 1987 12 Tracks 49 min

King Porter Stomp, Eccentric, Davenport Blues, Original Dixieland One Step, Bad Acting Woman, Misery & The Blues, High Society, Music To Love By, Meet Me When They Play The Blues, Riverboat Shuffle, Milenburg Joys, Blue Funk.

The story goes that Pee Wee Russel was in a speakeasy when he heard an out of town trombone player who left him speechless, he couldn't have been that speechless as he telephoned Jim McPartland and Bud Freeman to come and hear him. The result of that foray was Jack Teagarden straight away replaced the departing Glenn Miller in the Ben Pollack Orchestra ! Jack was nothing if not flexible and played big band, small band swing, blues and traditional jazz. This CD is all traditional jazz, and boy does it sound good. The blessing of good jazz is that it matters not if the recording was made in 1954 or 1994. For those unfamiliar with Jack; it is said that he was the first traditional jazzman to escape the straight-jacket of the tailgate style.

Overall the music is relaxed rather than frantic with Jack's golden trombone always present. There are several vocals sung by Jack in a laid back style not unlike Ken Colyer's (or should it be the other way round?), my favourite being "Bad Acting Woman". The recording is very sharp and clear, so: no excuses treat yourself to this gem.

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IAN WHEELER

IAN WHEELER AT FARNHAM MALTINGS

Lake Records LACD 32 1993 14 Tracks 55 min.

Easter Parade, 2.19 Blues, Gatemouth, Liberia Rag, Higher Ground, Everybody Loves My Baby, Honeysuckle Rose, Curse Of An Aching Heart, Tyree's Blues, Ole Miss Rag, Hesitation Blues, Sensation, Old Fashioned Love, Melt Down

The producer of this album, Paul Adams, says that Ian Wheeler is one of his favourite clarinet players because of his tone. I like him because he gives his clarinet the lilting sound of a blackbird in a summer garden. I'm not sure if this is what Paul meant, but there it is. On this album he is joined by New Orleans stalwarts Rod Mason, Ray Foxley, Colin Bowden, and long standing jazzman Vic Pitt. On trombone is Ole "Fessor" Lindgreen who we are told came along with Rod "for the ride" and ended up playing, something for which I am glad as he is an excellent addition. The band moves well together, but I would have liked to hear a bit more ensemble work. Even allowing for this being a "scratch band", albeit a top class one, where one expects there to be a lot of solo strings, on a CD entitled "Ian Wheeler ..." I did not expect to hear two solo numbers from other members of the band. One of the solos is a self penned rag by Ray Foxley. I found it rather ponderous, however I must confess that the perishing tune keeps popping up unprompted in my mind, so it must have something going for it. Another disappointment was that Ian was the jazzman who taught me to appreciate an alto sax in the front line, and we only get to hear him play that instrument once; on "Meltdown", and I am not sure what it is doing on this album. In addition to jazz I am partial to R & B, and "Meltdown" is good R & B, but what is it doing on a Traditional Jazz album? Cos jazz it ain't.

Oh well, despite some disappointments I'm not going to send the CD back as overall it is good. I suppose my disappointment was more with what I thought I was going to hear, rather than the quality of what I did hear.

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GEORGE MELLY & THE FOOTWARMERS

A GOLDEN HOUR OF GEORGE MELLY

Knights KGHCD1991 15020 tracks 71 minuets

Running Wild, I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter, Backwater Blues, Taint What You Do, Michigan Water Blues, Watch The Birdie, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Your Feets Too Big, Was I Drunk, The Joint Is Jumping, Lets Do It, You're Driving Me Crazy, Masculine Women, Feminine Men, St. Louis Blues, Wait Till You See My Baby Do The Charleston, I Want My Fanny Brown, Empty Bed Blues, Goody Goody, I Can't Give You Anything But Love, My Momma Rocks Me.

The description of George Melly's voice as "rich and fruity" is one I can only agree with. No-one else sounds like George: standard numbers gain new interpretation but it's when singing the more specialised songs that George comes into his element when singing the blues he sounds as one clinically depressed, when singing a comic number he overflows with unsuppressed glee, and give him a number with double entendre lyrics and you can almost see him wink and leer as he rolls the words around his mouth. And yes this CD has all the above types of number. Stand out tracks ? Well its not easy, but I shall select one from each category. The best of the standard tunes, in my opinion is "Don't Get Around Much Anymore", not just for the singing, but also the superb backing from the Footwarmers. The best blues is difficult, but I would plumb for "Empty Bed Blues". The voice is pent up anger and the backing hard strong stride, powerful stuff. Now for the comic number, well it has to be the topical "Masculine Women, Feminine Men", and we all thought it was a modern problem ! Saucy song, well try the self explanatory "I Want My Fanny Brown", assuming the title means what I think it means. I have always enjoyed listening to George Melly, the problem till now has been finding his material, as most of his earlier recordings were done as a guest vocalist with someone or others band. After a time in obscurity George hit the road again in the late 1970s with his own backing group the Footwarmers. I must confess that, much as I enjoy George's singing, I derive almost as much pleasure from listening to the band lead by the incomparable John Chiltern, he of the strangled muted trumpet, and backed up by the excellent piano playing of Colin Bates. This a cheapie CD, so you have no excuse whatsoever for not buying it.

For George Melly see also Mick Muligan's Magnolia Jazz Band.

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VINTAGE JAZZ BAND

NEW ORLEANS, NEW ZEALAND

BMG VPCD 5271992 12 tracks 52 min

Bourbon Street, Ostrich Walk, Melancholy Blues, Ice Cream, Over in the Glory Land, Hindustan, Bill Bailey, Chimes Blues, Dans Les Rues D'Antibes, Ory's Creole Trombone, Nuts, Tiger Rag

This CD is a re-issue of an RCA LP from, I think ,1986. It deserves a re-issue as it is good jazz, and shows that NZ can produce a world class band, my only regret is that the extensive sleeve notes on the tunes that were on the LP cover are not included with the CD for some reason. There are no surprises in the material the band plays, it being a balanced mixture of standards, blues, rags, and marches, all standards. I had the original LP and got a lot of pleasure from playing it, when I saw the CD I couldn't resist getting it as, although there was still plenty of wear left in the LP's groves I knew a mate who would give it a good home whilst I would be able to listen to the greater clarity given by the CD format. I got to know the Auckland based Vintage Jazz Band through this album and have since made a point of listening to them whenever the opportunity has arisen. Needless to say, I have bought the cassettes they have issued since, now I wonder if they will be put out on CD as they deserve to be. I wouldn't like anyone to think that this is just a compulsive knee jerk to hearing a quality Kiwi band. They aren't perfect, Lindsay Meech on trumpet gets a bit high for my ears at times, but they really are good and comparable to the top line UK bands whose albums jazz fans here go to so much effort to get hold of. When the Vintage Jazz Band made their tapes available to the British public via the Independent Jazz List they sold out super quick. This is another bargain priced CD, so don't go past it.

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FROG ISLAND JAZZ BAND

LITTLE ROBERT

OLIVER FROG RECORDS OF/9201 1992 11 TRACKS 46 MINUTES

Gate Mouth/ Cannon Ball Blues/ Over In The Gloryland/ Canal Street Blues/ I'm Going Away To Wear You Off My Mind/ Bogalusa Strut/ Kiss Me Sweet/ My Sweet Josephine/ Little Robert

From track 1 the bands enthusiasm and joy de vivre comes through. They really swing, helped I am sure by the sousaphone played by Rob Fullalove (is this really his name?). John Whitehead plays a good cornet with some fine mute work, and Ray Joughine on the trombone does an excellent job of underlining the work of the other front line players. Chris Marchant on drums, Keith Durson on piano, Owen Diplock on banjo form a rhythm section that contributes well to the overall sound. But I must reserve my highest praise for reeds man Geoff Foster, who plays all his instruments in a suitable style ( you can usually tell a sax player or clarinet or visa versa), a very versatile and competent player. I cannot claim to be an expert in either Traditional Jazz in general, or styles in particular, but to me the Frog Island Jazz Band has a Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers feel to them. This CD contains a lot of little recorded material as well as regular jazz items. I love this album and have been playing it regularly since getting it. Are there any complaints? Apart from those of my family who keep asking if I have anything else in my collection I could play, only the low volume on some of the vocals.

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REUNION JAZZ BAND

ROTARYMOTION

RCH 19 06 72 1993 15 tracks, 64 min

Black Bottom Blues, Tishomingo Blues, South, The Lonesome Road, Buddy's Habits, Blues in My Heart, The Last Time, Rotarymotion, Margie, Room Rent Blues, Mabel's Dream, At a Georgia Camp Meeting, Kansas City Stomp, Savoy Blues, Freeze and Melt

Last August I was avidly reading my Jazz Rag magazine, as is my wont, when I saw an advert for this CD. The price was right, the cause (Rotary Club International) good, and with a line up of ex- Dutch Swing College Band members I thought it worth a punt, so I treated myself and bought it. The inside blurb claims that it is 'a superb CD of high quality New Orleans jazz', well I agree with them that it is a superb CD, but New Orleans jazz ? Not quite ! The basic style is New Orleans influenced, sure, but, like the DSC band that they all once belonged to this band play a variety of styles from Jelly Roll Morton imitation to New Orleans to East Coast to West Coast to Trad to mainstream, and back again. In fact I was fascinated by the first six tunes being all in different styles without any repetition. If you ever wanted to give a lecture and demonstrate the many styles of Traditional Jazz then you need only take this CD with you ! The tunes are a mix of standards, rarities, and new numbers (title track played in the mainstream style). Two standards (At a Georgia Camp Meeting, and Freeze and Melt) are almost carbon copies of the DSC arrangements. Despite anything else, this is a superb CD and worth getting (contact Han Dijkstra, Turitea Road, RD 4, Palmerston North to see if he has any copies left). I was particularly impressed with Dim Kesber on reeds. He is the best soprano sax player I have heard. I love the soprano sax with its velvety tones and it features many times on this album, another reason I am pleased I bought it. If you only do one act of charity this year, buy this CD and help Rotary International, and yourself at the same time.

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THE SACKVILLE ALL STARS

THE SACKVILLE ALL STAR CHRISTMAS RECORD

SACKVILLE CD2-3038 1986 10 tracks, 49 min

Santa Claus is Coming to Town, We Three Kings, At The Christmas Ball, Winter Wonderland, Go Tell It On The Mountain, Good King Wenceslas, Santa Claus Came In The Spring, Silent Night, Let It Snow, Old Time Religion

Well I know that Christmas is about Jesus' birth, and that it is not until Easter that we usually thing of crucifixion, but by reviewing this CD I run the risk of being crucified. You see it isn't Traditional Jazz ! So why am I reviewing it at all ? Well for several reasons. To start with the story of how I got this CD ( my wife was talking to a local record shop owner, who had read some of my reviews, and he, remembering my love of the soprano sax, suggested that she especially order this album for me), then there is the fact that this is the only decent jazz CD I know of with Christmas music on it, and on top of that, I like it - so there !

As you would have gathered from their name, this band is an occasional one consisting of well known (at least in their own country) Canadian jazz musicians. The style is relaxed 'Club Jazz', ideal for background listening, but also fine for listening to in depth. All of the players are good, but the piano player, Ralph Sutton and the saxophonist, Jim Galloway, are extremely good. Oh hell, I am listening to the CD again at present and I have to correct that last statement. Milt Hinton on bass, and Gus Johnson on drums have just played features and they too are extremely good. If you only buy one Christmas music CD this year make it this one. As you sit by the Christmas tree, drink in one hand, leg of turkey in the other, mistletoe in your cap, relaxing to tracks from this album, think of me and raise the 'Hail Wassail' for making you buy it.

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THE KEN COLYER TRUST BAND PLAYS NEW ORLEANS JAZZ

Upbeat Recordings LC6043 1994 16 tracks 61 min

Yes Lord I'm Crippled, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Over the Waves, Breeze, Salutation March, Panama Rag, Lights Out, Bogalusa Strut, Amazing Grace, Darktown Strutters Ball, San Jacinto Blues, Precious Lord, Silver Bell, Sing On, Washington and Lee Swing, My Life Will be Sweeter Some Day.

There has been some criticism within the Ken Colyer Trust that the band that bears their name is not playing exactly as a band lead by Ken Colyer would, and that Leader Norman Thatcher is not a Colyer clone. Tough ! The tendency of some people to try and deify a man who in his own lifetime shunned the star status that was his by rights amazes me. Thatcher may not be Collier's doppelganger but he is a fine cornet player, who happens to owe much of his style to the Guv'nor. The rest of the band are all excellent New Orleans style jazzmen and this is an excellent example of contemporary N.O. jazz played by those who love it. No frills, no gimmicks, just quality. When the band first started in 1988 their first recordings sounded a bit thin, and this was especially noticeable as their material was all Colyer's and thus easily comparable. As time has gone by the line-up has changed, and the band has matured into a full bodied New Orleans band that is not afraid to play a broad range of tunes that just happen to include some Colyer standards. I just wish they would get a bit more imaginative with the titles of their albums. I almost didn't buy this gem as it has a very similar title to an earlier one !

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DICK CHARLESWORTH & his CITY GENTS

HOT STUFF : CELEBRATING EARLY JAZZ

Lake LACD40 1994 17 tracks 73 min

Will You or Wont You Be My Baby, Delta Mood, A Cup of Coffee a Sandwich and You, African Queen, Don't Let Your Love Go Wrong, Candy Lips, I Can't Sleep, Moppin' & Boppin', Birmingham Breakdown, Dippermouth Blues, Someday Sweetheart, Sunset Cafe Stomp, Sweetie Dear, I Cover the Waterfront, Oh Sister Ain't That Hot, Give Me a Kiss to Build a Dream On, Put 'em Down Blues.

Trad died the day a TV pop programme had a feature on what the Beatles liked and disliked. On the latter list was Trad, and the picture on the TV screen was an LP cover of Dick Charlesworth & his City Gents. This destructive action eventually led Dick to seek anonymity as a member of the resident dance band on the cruise ship Oriana. My own interest in Dick Charlesworth and his band died soon after the TV programme, though not because I followed fashion; it happened when they appeared on the BBC's Jazz Club. The style had become very mainstream and Dick played sax instead of clarinet on all the tunes except "Black Cat on a Fence", which was the latest - perhaps even last -45 rpm record put out by the City Gents (a version I still regard as the sweetest I have heard yet). So why did I buy a CD of a band led by Mr. Charlesworth ? Was it the standing family joke that Christmas is never complete without "African Queen"? No, it was the make-up of the band and the unusual tunes being played. As it turned out I really enjoy listening to this album. The style is "traditional" rather than New Orleans or Trad. The musicians are very professional, and the arrangements original; organised but free-flowing and flexible. And Dick Charlesworth? Well he does play reeds rather than clarinet, though that instrument seems to feature most. His style has, however, reverted to traditional rather than mainstream to my ear. If only his singing was better!

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SVEN LANGE'S NEW ORLEANS KIDS

NEW ORLEANS MEMORIES

Kid Jazz Produktions KIDCD-001 1994 16 tracks 62 min

A Good Man Is Hard To Find, Why Don't You Do Right, Yonder Come The Blues, Me & My Gin, Down In Jungle Town*, Squeeze Me, The Glory Of Love, Oh My Babe Blues, Goody Goody, If I Could Be With You*, Mecca Flat Blues, Aunt Hagar's Blues*, Brother Can You Spare A Dime, New Orleans Memories, 'Fore Day Creep, Go Back Where You Stayed Last Night.

My wife and I recently returned to Europe for a holiday and included Copenhagen in our itinerary. No-one goes to Copenhagen without going to the Tivoli Gardens and, being jazz fans, we just happened to visit the gardens on a night that the Jazz Cellar was open. The band that night was Papa Bue's Viking Jazz Band. All I will say is that the band is good but their Viking jarl spends too much time quaffing from his mead horn and not enough time on stage. One of the bands that regularly appears at the Tivoli Jazz Cellar is Sven Lange's New Orleans Kids, oh that he had been playing that night ! This is a truly excellent band if this CD is anything to go on. Sven himself plays trombone in a very impressive tailgate style and indeed styles himself on the master of that style, 'Kid' Ory. In addition to Sven I particularly liked the pianist Hans Kjarby who fitted in very well in the ensemble, short solo breaks and as a sensitive support for the vocals. The band is well balanced, tight and very professional without loosing any of the impromptu exuberance of the New Orleans jazz idiom. The material is varied with a good mixture of blues, standards and dance music. Now to the guts of the matter; this CD belongs to the vocalist Marit Elfstrom and she rightly features on all but three of the tracks(*). Marit joined the band in 1993 as an eighteen year old, that such a youngster should have such an expressive blues voice is remarkable and as such comparisons must be made to Otillie Patterson who was of a similar age when she arrived on the jazz scene. No doubt as she gains experience Marit needs will continue to develop her tonal expression, but even now she must be the best of the current batch of jazz singers. Whether she is swinging as on 'The Glory of Love' or twisting your emotions with 'Why Don't You Do Right' Marit is a treat to listen too and she can only get better. As someone with an extensive jazz collection I am reaching the point where I am getting very selective on what I buy. This CD impressed me so much that Sven Lange and Marit are definitely on my shopping list !

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GAMBIT JAZZMEN with TIM LAUGHLIN

KING OF THE MARDI GRAS

Lake LACD54 1995 11 tracks 68 min

Dreaming The Hours Away, Bedelia, Glory Of Love, King Of The Mardi Gras, Just A Closer Walk With Thee, Smiles, Sweet Substitute, Dippermouth Blues, Shim-me-sha-wable, Si Tu Vois Ma Mere, Original Dixieland One-Step.

Although New Orleans jazz is obviously American in origin in recent years one has tended to look elsewhere, especially Europe, when seeking out its finest exponents. The Gambit Jazzmen's guest is N.O. born clarinettist Tim Laughlin and he shows on this CD that excellent jazzmen are still being produced in the crescent city. The first two tracks, though very well played and good to listen to, do not really provide the platform necessary to judge Tim's skills; you have to wait until 'Glory Of Love' before you get the chance to really hear Tim's lyrical weaving style. 'King Of The Mardi Gras' and 'Si Tu Vois Ma Mere' are feature numbers for Tim that give him greater opportunities to dazzle. The sleeve notes comment that most POMs think that all N.O. clarinettist should sound like George Lewis when in fact the city has a various times been as over-run with them as we are rabbits, personally I find that a rather sweeping statement, but the comments are valid in that Tim produces a very distinct and personal sound that does not always fit the European mould we have become so used to. But what about the band you ask ! Well they are top rate and roll along very smoothly. With ex-Colyer sidesmen involved (Pete Lay-dms, Ray Foxley-pno) you should expect class, and you get it; Joining Tim in the front-line are Barry Weston who plays a class tailgate trombone with all the rasp of a cow's fart, and Dave Stradwick on cornet whom I especially liked though I am not quite sure why, I just did. In fact that sums this CD up: there is nothing especially outstanding or brilliant about it, but it is very, very, likeable and I wouldn't be without it. I mean; I have just played it through thrice in one sitting whilst doing this review and I might even do once more just for fun, so there !

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TERRY LIGHTFOOT'S NEW ORLEANS JAZZMEN

TERRY LIGHTFOOT'S NEW ORLEANS JAZZMEN 1959/65

DIXIE GOLD CD: 838 763-2 18 tracks, 60 min.

The Onions, I Wish I was in Peoria, Old Fashioned Love, Old Pull'n Push, Wild Man Blues, Top Gear, Ol' Man River, Creole Love Call, Kansas City Stomps, County Blues, Riverboat Shuffle, 11:10 Blues, Rocking Chair, Copenhagen, As Long As I Live, Mack the Knife, Black Bottom Stomp.

In the late 50's and early 60's few of the jazz bands admitted that their music was Trad, Terry Lightfoot was always honest and the sleeves of his albums frequently called a spade: a spade, or should I say called his music Trad. The first jazz record introduced into our household was a Terry Lightfoot EP my father bought and played endlessly. By the time he had saved up enough money to add an LP to his collection 3 months later I knew every note on the EP off by heart. I have had a love / hate relationship with Terry ever since. Whilst capable of some delightfully simple interpretations and moving playing, he often slips into over slick commercial junk only the most crass mug punter would appreciate. This CD contains the Good, the Bad, and the Average, nothing Excellent.

Good tracks are: "The Onions", clean cut Trad, "Wild Man Blues", which despite some indifferent trumpet playing is still a very enjoyable trumpet / piano number (and I have always enjoyed listening to Colin Bates on piano), "Creole Love Call", a simple well balanced number, "11:10 Blues" a nice blues interpretation featuring all the front line (Ken Simms on cornet!), and "Rockin' Chair" the best of the vocal duets between Terry and Roy Williams that were such a feature of the band in the 60's (I notice from another album that Roy took both the duets and the tunes with him when he joined Alex Welsh).

Bad tracks are: "Top Gear" which is over orchestrated and very messy, "Old Pull'n Push" which is Trad at its worst (I seem to remember this as the theme tune for a TV programme) and "Country Blues" which is just plain messy.

All the other tracks are average Trad: ok for background but nothing profound. Just as a point of interest I was once told that Terry Lightfoot was a frustrated trumpet player, and he always seemed to have a different man on horn. The nine years covered by this CD features no less than six horn players, must be some sort of record. Which is more than be said of this CD.

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DAVE BRENNAN'S JUBILEE JAZZBAND

TAKE ME TO THE MARDI GRAS

LAKE LACD 20 1991 19 tracks 70

Don't Go Way Nobody, Dauphine St. Blues, Bright Star Blues, Is It True What They Say About Dixie, Mood Indigo, Move That Body Over, Redman Blues, All Alone By The Telephone, Nuages, Eccentric Rag, Ride Red Ride, Higher Ground, Ace In The Hole, Rip 'em Up Joe, I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now, Take Me To The Mardi Gras, Roses Of Pichardy, Down In Nempnett Thrubwell, I Want A Girl Just Like The Girl Who Married Dear Old Dad.

I have heard recordings of Dave Brennan playing with other bands, but this is the first I have heard of him playing with his own band. Knowing the company he had been keeping was sufficient to persuade me to buy this CD. The album notes claim that there are no worn out standards included, and this is true. In fact some of the titles are so obscure that I had never heard of them before. The most well worn standard would have been Mood Indigo except that they present it as a vocal, and I for one never even knew it had words ! Disallowing a vocal version being classed as well worn the only really common tracks were Ace in the Hole, and Eccentric Rag. One of the more unusual tracks that amused me was Bright Star Blues which started out sounding more like a rag.

The whole band play well, but I particularly liked Frank Brooker on reeds with his smooth lyrical style and Dave Vickers on trombone. Dave's thoughtful underlining of the other front-line members together with his excellent work with a mute were well appreciated. This is not to say that the others aren't very good, they are, it is just that in my opinion the aforementioned are outstanding. I first bought this CD before Christmas but only had the chance to play it once before this review. At the first playing I thought it ok, and the band a good club one. However, on hearing it again I realised that I had underestimated both the album and the band. I shall not leave it unplayed for so long again.

The tracks were recorded by Paul Adams and Graeme Bell (? THE Graeme Bell ?) and the quality of the recording is up to Lake's usual high standard. Go out and buy it; Lake is a Traditional Jazz label and deserves to prosper, and so do Dave Brennan's Jubilee Jazz Band.

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JOHN BARNES & ROY WILLIAMS FEATURING DIGBY FAIRWEATHER

LIKE WE DO

LAKE LACD69 1996 13 tracks, 46 min

But Not For Me; A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square; Serenade To A Jobsworth; Fascinating Rhythm; A Kiss to Build A Dream On; Like We Do; One In A While; Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams; Southern Comfort; Struttin' With Some Barbecue; Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone; One Two Button My Shoe.

Normally you wouldn't find me reviewing a mainstream album such as this, but I do like to keep an open mind on jazz and ensure that my horizons are not getting too narrow. I picked on this one as I like trombonist Roy Williams, who I remember well from his time with Terry Lightfoot. I didn't know reeds man John Barnes, but I had seen trumpet player Digby Fairweather on a TV programme and knew that he played a good mainstream horn (though I must admit that the thing I remembered most about the programme was the fact that the 'jazz fans' looked a weird bunch of anoraks, who gave the impression that they had either been smoking something exotic, or imbibing strong scrumpy!). This CD is a re-issue; the date is not given, but I think it would be from the mid '80s.

So, the music: it is very professionally played with some excellent solo breaks. Some numbers like 'Serenade to a Jobsworth' are quite 'Trad' in feel, others, such as 'But Not For Me' mainstream, whilst yet others like 'A Nightingale sang In Berkley Square' are little more than dance numbers such as any small dance band plays. However, the majority of tunes are in fact Trad orientated. I found it a pleasant album, ideal for background music when entertaining. I know my late mother liked it as when she heard it, she used to grab my poor old dad and start dancing!

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MONTY SUNSHINE'S JAZZBAND WITH SPECIAL GUESTS KEN COLYER, LONNIE DONEGAN AND PETE SAYERS

JUST A LITTLE WHILE TO STAY HERE

LAKE LACD70 1996 14 tracks 52 min

*Just A Little While to Stay Here; *Postman's Lament; South; Old Stack-O-Lee Blues; Ole Miss Rag; My Old Kentucky Home; Jambalaya; Lily of The Valley; You Always Hurt The One You Love; +Ma, He's Making Eyes At Me; +When I Move To The Sky; +Corine, Corinna; Black Cat On A Fence; There's Yes Yes In Your Eyes.

Monty Sunshine has to be regarded as one of Britain's leading jazzmen, and just as certainly, one of its leading clarinettist. On these German recordings from the 80's, Monty is joined on some of the tracks by Ken Colyer* and on others by Lonnie Donegan+. All three had been part of Ken's 1954 band with Monty being a fellow member of that key essential of the British jazz revival of the late 40's and early 50's; the Crane River Jazz Band. Monty and Lonnie, of course, went on to fame and fortune, first with Chris Barber's Jazz Band, and then on their own. From the beginning Monty was marked as being outstanding, and forty years on he still was, and indeed, still is ten years later.

The tracks here are from no less than five different sessions over six years and the band membership varies, but the quality of the music is consistently good. People have often wondered why Monty left Chris Barber's band when it was going from strength to strength and packing the crowds in. Some thought that it was for personal reasons, myself I wonder if it was because Chris was starting to go down the sticky path of commercialism that was eventually to lead him out of traditional jazz altogether and Monty wanted to stay with the music. Although not perhaps purist New Orleans jazz, the music on this CD is still very N.O. influenced and very 'traditional'. The 1996 album notes say that Monty Sunshine and his band continue to be very popular both in Britain and on the Continent. I trust that this continues to be so for such a faithful and wonderful musician.

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BERYL BRYDEN AND THE BLUE BOYS

I'VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES

LAKE LACD71 1996 18 tracks 78 min (A BBC RADIO CELEBRATION OF THE MUSIC OF BESSIE SMITH)

*Sunset Café Stomp; *Beale Street Blues; Downhearted Blues; I've Got What It Takes; St. Louis Blues; *Hotter Than That; Trombone Cholly; Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out; Cakewalking Babies; *Froggie More; *Wild Man Blues; There'll Be A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight; Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer; Kitchen Man; Forty And Tight; A Good Man Is Hard To Find; *Young Woman's Blues; Alexander's Ragtime Band.

Beryl Bryden? You mean she is still going? Yep, after fifty years in the business, the lady with the washboard but no dirty laundry, is still at it, singing up a storm and still asking 'Who put the Benzidine in Beryl Bryden's Ovaltine?'. This CD is the sound track of a BBC programme dedicated to the memory of blues legend Bessie Smith. Backing Beryl on this album are the Blue Boys made up of some of Britain's finest traditional jazzmen. On piano, ragtime exponent and authority, Keith Nichols. On cornet, late of that vastly under-rated band, Eric Silk's Southern Jazz Band, Denis Field. On clarinet the man with the most distinctive clarinet style around, the unmistakable Cy Laurie. The man who disappeared from the jazz scene for most of the 60's. Where he went no-one knows, but Humphrey Littleton reckoned that he was studying meditation under the Maharishi whilst the Beatles were still maggots, On trombone the honey smooth Roy Williams, on bass the swinging Pete Corrigan, and finally, the only man brave enough to take on Ms Bryden with a washboard duet, drummer Ron Houghton.

All right the intro was a bit theatrical, but then so is any show featuring Beryl Bryden. No-one sleeps when this lady struts the boards, and no-one gets bored when her Blue Boys lay the music down. This CD is not just blues, it features all sorts of music, and lyrics from the sweet to the heart wrenching, from the naughty to the funny. This is a swinging show, I just wish I had been there to see it. Fortunately the quality of the recording is up to the BBC's high standard, so even if I never saw it, I certainly heard it as it was on the night. Great stuff, well done Beryl and the Blue Boys, well done BBC and thank you Lake for letting the rest of the world hear the wonderful music.

NB Beryl has since died.

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SARAH SPENCER'S RUE CONTI JAZZBAND

LAISSEZ LES BONS TEMPS ROULER

LACD22 + LA5022/c 1992 11 tracks 64 min

Mardi Gras In New Orleans; My Life Will Be Sweeter; Somebody Else Is Taking My Place; In The Garden; Whooping Blues; Mama Inez; What A Friend We Have In Jesus; Junco Partner; Bogalusa Strut; Lead Me Saviour; Sweet Fields.

Whilst happy to parade behind a New Orleans marching band, I have never been happy just sitting and listening to one. As part of my jazz education I continue to acquire the occasional jazz album that will enlarge my knowledge of the music and open my mind. So, when I felt I needed to have a CD by a marching band in my collection I bought this one as I knew that Lake would not issue rubbish. Do I like it? Well yes and no. The style is still not to my liking, and I doubt if I will get another one, but, and it is a qualified but, it is not without charm. The CD has a mix of tunes, some of them not part of the repertoire of most traditional jazz bands. The music is played with verve and imagination, it just gets a bit raucous at times, like the starling's dawn chorus.

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GRAEME BELL

THE EMI AUSTRALIAN RECORDINGS

EMI CDAX 701583 1990 24 tracks 69 min

The Lizard, That Woodbourne Strut, Tessa's Blues, Ugly Child, Smoky Mokes, South, Shabby Gal Rag, Chicken and Almonds, Czechoslovak Journey, Old Man's Beard, Free Man's Blues, Is That The Way?, Nog's March, Riverina Dreams, Rocking Horse Rag, Jenny's Ball, Black and Tan Fantasy, Up To No Good, Panama, Georgia Bo Bo, Seal Rock, Sorry To Be Leavin', Friday Comes Around, Cinderella Girl.

In 1986 I was on temporary transfer for my employer, the good old NZ Post Office, interview would be supervisors. It was a good wheeze, they gave you a daily allowance, and let you find your own food and shelter. As a result of this system most of us doing the 'rounds' lived frugally and spent the profit. I spent mine on a new stereo system, which I still use. I had a bit of cash left over so haunted the larger new and second-hand record shops. Amongst the LPs I collected was a 1985 one by Graeme Bell. It was good in parts, but very mainstream bordering on modern, it was nothing like the 60s albums of his I already had. I knew Graeme was capable of playing good jazz, and also capable of attracting good musos to play with him, so when I saw this CD going cheap I bought it. These recordings are from a 19547, a 1949 and several 1952 sessions. The stable line-up varies a bit, but the excellent trumpet of Roger Bell features on most. Some of the tunes are standards, but others are very obscure. The quality of recording is better than most made at the time and complement the Australian band, which was up to the standard of most top British bands of the period. The only problem is that, due to the record limitations of the times, all the tracks are very short and the band does not get to explore the tunes to their full extent.

For anyone wanting a CD of Antipodean jazz from the revival period this is the one to get.

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MICK MULLIGAN & HIS MAGNOLIA JAZZ BAND

MEET MICK MULLIGAN AND GEORGE MELLY

LAKE LC5383 1996 18 tracks 50 min

Young and Healthy, Button Up Your Overcoat, All I Do Is Dream Of You, I'm Crazy 'Bout My Baby, All Of Me, Rocking Chair, Bei Mir Bist Du Shon, There'll Be Some Changes Made, Girl Of My Dreams, Ace In The Hole, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Oh You Beautiful Doll, Muscat Ramble, Sweet Lorraine, When You're Smiling, After You've Gone, I'll See You In My Dreams, Mama Don't Allow

A re-issue of a 1958 and a 1959 album this CD is great fun. Mick Mulligan retired from the scene just as I got into it, so I never saw him live, and my only acquaintance with his music was from some rather worn records belonging to a friend of mine, which somehow I never got round to putting down on reel-to-reel tape, as was my wont with other people's jazz records in those days.

This is Chicago jazz tending to Trad; smooth, sleek, yet still exciting and free. This music is the sort of stuff I cut my teeth on, and given the chance I still enjoy a nibble. Mick Mulligan is a forceful trumpeter, Ian Christie plays a beautiful, yet at times raucous, clarinet, and Frank Parr is a good tailgate trombonist, all backed by an excellent rhythm section. Then throw in the one and only George Melly! Is there anyone else in jazzland like him? Would anyone else want to be like him? George of the fruity voice, leery looks, and outrageous clothes. I have been known to buy albums just to get an odd track by George. This CD, however, would still be worth buying even without George. With him it is irresistible.

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GOFF DUBBER WITH THE NEVILLE DICKIE TRIO

CLARINET MARMALADE

Lake, 1997 LACD78, 16 tracks, 72 min

Clarinet Marmalade, Lonesome, South Side Strut, Memphis Blues, Black Bottom Stomp, Indian Summer, Shreveport Stomp, Saturday Night Out, Memories of You, Louisiana & Me, I hear Ya Talkin', Lou-easy-an-i-a, Gone But Not Forgotten, Your Folks, Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams, At The Jazz Band Ball.

Sixteen tracks of jazz by a quartet featuring Goff Dubber on reeds, Neville Dickie on piano, Micky Ashman on bass, and Norman Emberson, could be thought to be a bit much, it's a big ask for such a small line-up. Rest assured, Goff varies his instruments (clarinet, soprano sax, and tenor sax), and all the others get a chance to contribute solo breaks, so boredom is not a problem. In fact, you find yourself stopping what you are doing (I run music on the CD of my work's computer) and listening hard as the band members enhance and support each other's playing. Beautiful stuff, especially the soprano sax, where Goff resists the temptation to indulge in Bechet type excessive vibrato. I was impressed, especially as other albums by small groups that I have bought in the past have tended to either disappoint, or runout of innovative ideas half way through. This CD is well worth getting.

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FAIRWEATHER FRIENDS

FAIRWEATHER FRIENDS: MADE TO MEASURE

Lake, 1997 LACD75, 16 tracks, 66 min

By The Fireside, The Music Goes Round & Round, Sue's Blues, Exactly Like You, Goody Goody, Easy To Love, Sometimes I'm Happy, Tin Roof Blues, I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Red For Go, September In The Rain, If I Had You, Coe-Pilot, Grapevine, Doin' The Raccoon, Exactly Like You.

Me listening to Al Fairweather? I will surprise you by saying that this is a very pleasant CD. The music is small band swing of the Ted Heath variety with 'Easy To Love' being a Glen Miller clone. Smooth, easy to listen to, ideal as background music for a night club. It makes very nice musical wall paper, far better than muzak, but no more demanding of the listener. The tracks come from two LPs, 1957 and 1959 with an oddball 1961 track thrown in for good measure. The band's personnel varies, and includes such well know musicians as Kenny Ball ( playing some very familiar breaks on 'Tin Roof Blues'), Bruce Turner, Stan Greig, Graham Burbridge, and Red Price. Here is an interesting thing. The sleeve notes say that Red played with the Ted Heath band, I dug out my father's old Heath recordings and yes, there he is. Personally I remember him as the lead sax in Lord Rockingham's XI, the show band who played in the TV rock show 'Oh Boy' (what do you mean you have never heard of their hit record 'Hoots Mon'?). He also belonged to Frankie Vaughan's backing group 'The X Men'.

I must take issue with the man who wrote the sleeve notes. He makes the claim that this music shows British Traditional Jazz players coming of age. An interesting point of view, myself I see it as a regression to the orchestrated blandness of swing; MacDonald's music, inoffensive and lacking any taste. Clayton's jazz.

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PAT HALCOX ALL STARS

Lake LACD84 1997, 14 Tracks 71min

Flintstones, Blue & Sentimental, I'm Gonna Lock My Heart & Throw Away The Key, China Boy, I Want A Little Girl, What's That Racket?, Jeepers Creepers, You Took Advantage Of Me, Three Four The Blues, Dusk, 5 O'clock Drag, Fidgety Feet, Deed I Do, Dr Jazz

Confession time; I have several mainstream albums in my jazz collection! Ok, so most have been given to me by well meaning friends and relations, but some, this CD included, I have bought myself. What, Geoff, you ask; you buying a mainstream CD? I admit that most of those that I have bought in the mainstream idiom, have been obtained to ensure that I do not live my life in a strict traditional jazz straight-jacket. Mostly they get just an occasional airing; almost as one takes a tonic for the good of one's health; you may not like it too much, but it is good for you!

This CD is an exception - I like it! Not only that, but I knew I would before I bought it. If I wanted to get a mainstream CD then I knew that, if I put my hand into Pat Halcox's, he would be gentle with me, and I was right. The style the band plays in, very much shows the traditional background of the players, in especial the front-line: Pat Halcox on trumpet, that excellent reedsman John Crocker, and NZ's own Campbell Burnap on trombone. Jack Teagarden influenced Campbell, also provides the laid-back vocals, where he shows that it is not just in his trombone playing that he has picked up the Teagarden style.

Pat's All Star band was a touring band that allowed jazzmen to continue playing whilst their 'home' bands were on summer holiday. It also allowed them to explore different playing styles and enjoy themselves. The CD consists of tunes from a 1978 LP put out by the Plant Life label, coupled with others from live sessions from 1978 and '79. Some tunes stand out more than others, especially two slow numbers 'Blue and Sentimental' and Ellington's 'Dusk'. But, for me, the standout number is, 'I Want A Little Girl' with Burnap giving a very relaxed, and yet poignant, vocal. I hate to say it, but I will: this mainstream version of the song, is now my favourite! Oh God, having said that, I suppose I had now better go and wash my mouth out and give myself a quick flagellation; but it is true.

If, like me, you are a traditionalist, but like to spread your wings now and then, get this CD and let Pat Halcox teach you to fly.

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CY LAURIE JAZZ BAND

CHATANOOGA STOMP

Lake LACD61, 1997, 19 Tracks 72 min

Chattanooga Stomp; Goober Dance; Tuxedo Junction; Kansas City Stomp; Clarinet Rondo; Minuet Wobble; We Shall Walk Through The Streets Of The City; Bourbon St. Parade; Perdido St. Blues; Twelfth St. Rag; Dauphin St. Blues; Canal St Blues; Beale St. Blues; Blue Blood Blues; There'll Come A Day; Keyhole Blues; Don't Go Away Nobody; Melancholy Blues; St. Phillips Street Breakdown.

Cy Laurie disappeared from the jazz scene just as I was getting into it. He formed his first band in 1948, had players such as: Alan Elsdon, Sonny Morris, Ken Sims, Colin Smith, John RT Davis, Graham Stewart, Pat Hawes, Vic Carter, and Ron MacKay in his line-ups, then in 1960 threw it all away and vanished. Despite my late entry into traditional jazz, I did know about many of the bands from the revival period of the late 40s and 50s, yet, for some reason, I never heard of Cy Laurie.

In 1969, just prior to coming to NZ, I was taping a Ken Colyer's Jazzmen session on the BBC's Jazz Club. I thought I might as well let the tape run for the next band, as I could always dub over it if I didn't like them. Humph Lyttleton said the leader was a Cy Laurie, who had been in India, studying meditation under the Maharishi since 'the Beatles were maggots'. I still have the tape and, indeed, still play it. Cy plays a fascinating clarinet. The CD's sleeve notes says that he acknowledges the influence of Johnny Dodds, whom I personally prefer to the more popular George Lewis. There is truth in this, but Cy has a style of his own and if you haven't heard it, then you must! No-one else in the world plays like this man. The sidemen are all of high quality and, although you are very aware of Cy, other than in the solo numbers, he doesn't dominate, allowing the band to swing along nicely.

The recordings are not from the master tapes, but rather from discs. The recording dates are given as 1955, '57, and '96. I don't believe the '96, it must be a typo for '56. The quality is high, much more so than most recordings retrieved from this medium and say's a lot for the skill of Lake's engineer, Paul Adams.

To hear Cy playing just as well in 1995 listen to LACD71, where he is one of the backing band for Beryl Bryden.

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MICKY ASHMAN & HIS RAGTIME JAZZ BAND

THROUGH DARKEST ASHMAN

Lake LACD86 1997, 14 tracks 52min

Wedding of the Painted Doll*, In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree*, Who Were You With Last Night*, If Those Lips Could Only Speak*, Jungle Nights In Harlem, Ostrich Walk, Darkness On The Delta, Listen To The Mocking Bird, Under The Bamboo Tree, Humming Bird, Brownskin Mama, Snake Rag, Pagan Love Song, Green Cockatoo, Zambezi

This Album was originally an EP called 'Memories Are Made Of This' and an LP of the same title as the CD. The EP was released in 1958, whilst the LP 1961. I saw the LP sometime in 1963 on the wall of the record section in Arding and Hobbs, Clapham Junction, London. I knew of Micky Ashman and rather liked the variety of the tunes the LP contained. Unfortunately a restricted budget and the lure of first Acker Bilk, and then Ken Colyer stopped me from buying it, though it remained in Arding and Hobbs until the record section disappeared around 1966. I always regretted not buying it, especially as later, I came across some of the tracks on the two bargain priced Golden Guinea Jazz Britannia LPs and liked them. Since then those tracks, and some others, have appeared on compilation CDs put out by Castle.

Having waited so long to get my grubby little paws on 'Through Darkest Ashman', was it worth it? Yes, I think so. The music at times slides into slick Trad, but it is very pleasant none-the-less, and it does have its special moments such as 'Jungle Nights In Harlem', 'Darkness On The Delta' and 'Brownskin Mama'. My only regret is that Lake were unable to get hold of the other recordings that Micky Ashman's Ragtime Jazz Band made and which Castle have used elsewhere. I would have loved to have had all of the material by this swinging bass player and his merry men on one CD.

Oh, by the way, any Nazi hunters out there still trying to trace Martin Boorman? Well he was playing banjo for Micky Ashman in 1961!

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THE MERSEYSIPPI JAZZ BAND

MERSEY TUNNEL JAZZ

Lake LACD85 1997, 20 tracks 76min

Jersey Lightning, Aunt Haggar's Blues, Black & Tan Fantasy, Emperor Norton's Hunch, Chicago Buz, Blues Doctor, West Coast Shout, Sidewalk Blues, Saturday Night Function, Ostrich Walk, Tres Moutarde, Weatherbird Rag, Kansas City Stomps, Bienville Blues, Duff Campbell's Revenge, My Journey To The Sky, Hop Frog, If I Had You, Cataract Rag, I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself a Letter

In 1962 a beat group from the capital of Ireland, Liverpool to the ignorant, caught the attention of the youth of Britain and by 1963 the Beatles had started their conquest of the world. Soon everyone knew of the Merseyside club where they and their like played; The Cavern. What wasn't common knowledge, though anyone reading history about the group should have known, was that The Cavern was originally a jazz dive and first the skiffle groups and then beat groups, played there during the intervals, until changing music tastes reversed the roles. Well this CD, a re-issue of the 1957 'Mersey Tunnel Jazz' and 1956 'West Coast Shout' LPs, plus some from an un-named EP, are by the resident band that were there when the Cavern opened in 1957 - The Merseysippi Jazz Band. It is now 1997, and the band is still around and issuing albums. Says something about durability of both the music and the band.

Featuring two trumpets a la Oliver/Armstrong, these recordings often show an enthusiasm and drive that is often lacking in many of today's bands. The recordings, taken from records in a collection, rather than from master tapes, lack the high fidelity that modern recording techniques produce, and the lack of higher registers that pick up the delicacy of much of traditional jazz drumming, is particularly noticeable. Forget the rather flat sound, enjoy the music, for it is special. In addition to well balanced New Orleans jazz, there is the bonus of rare, and, to me, unknown tunes.

As I said earlier, The Merseysippi Jazz Band, is still kicking up a storm. They are often invited to the world's largest traditional jazz festival held at Sacramento, USA. There, so I am told by a friend who went a couple of years back, they are not only teaching the locals how to play their own music, but how to seriously sup ale as well!

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INTERNATIONAL JAZZ BAND

IN THE GUTTER

Jazz Crusade JCCD 3030 1997, 12 tracks, 73min

Clarinet Marmalade, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, In The Gutter, When I Was A Little Child, Just A Little While To Stay Here, One Sweet Letter From You, The Moose, It Feels So Good, Pagan Love Song, Old Black Joe, Four or Five Times, Canal Street Blues

This hand selected band was assembled for a series of European gigs in 1997. The leader, Big Bill Bissonnette acknowledges that people will consider the line-up unusual, and it is. The sound is quite reed heavy and at times sounds very much like a New Orleans marching band of the type that his wife Sara (nee Spencer) used to play when she lead the Rue Conte Jazz Band in Britain in the early 80s. Sarah's reed playing shows a much greater maturity than on the Rue Conte CD 'Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!' being more mellow and artistic. Her fellow reeds player is George Probert. It is George's soprano playing that catches your ear with him playing in a very distinctive style at sounds so very different from any other that I have heard. But back to the band's style; I am not sure that it has a true style as each tune seems to be approached differently from the others; mainstream on 'In The Gutter', marching band on 'Just a little while To Stay Here'(with Tuba Fats seemingly forgetting the words), a more New Orleans style (as understood by the Europeans) on 'One Sweet Letter From You', All very different and distinctive. It really has to be heard to be believed!

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NORMAN THATCHER'S RAGTIME BAND

WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?

Jazz Crusade JCCD-3028 1997, 16 tracks, 70min

At the Cross, Cataract Rag, A Porter's Love Song, What Do You Want Me To Do, Good Night Sweet Prince, Hilarity Rag, How Great Thou Art, Sorry, I'm Coming Virginia, That Teasin' Rag, The Sunshine of Your Smile, Dardanella, Louisiana, Fig Leaf Rag, Just One More Chance, Good Night Sweetheart.

The cover notes say that band leader, and cornetist Norman Thatcher is not a Ken Colyer clone, as some claim, and that this CD allows him to show how he has assimilated Bix Biderbecke into his playing. I am not 100% sure about that. What I do know is that playing ragtime was something that Ken Colyer did a lot of. This was a matter that always intrigued me as Ken was so spontaneous in his playing and his interpretations of a tune so innovative that even five or six recorded versions of a number played by Ken are markedly different. Yet the man loved to play ragtime with its strict and complicated regime. But this CD is Norman Thatcher's and he plays the ragtime in a much looser style than Colyer. In the band he is joined by the redoubtable, and fellow Ken Colyer Trust Band member, John Wurr on reeds with another KCT band-member Hugh Crozier on piano, Sarah Roofe on banjo and Steve Davis on tuba. An unusual line-up, but one that works very well. I certainly will be looking out for any more issues that they make. My especial favourite track is 'What Do You Want Me To Do'. Open and muted horn, varied reeds, mellow tuba, jangling piano, underscored by a steady banjo.

Oh, 'Sorry', just don't say 'Good Night Sweetheart', please give me 'Just One More Chance', to bask in 'The Sunshine Of Your Smile' and tell you, Norman and the Ragtime Band, 'How Great Thou Art'!

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SONNY DEE ALL-STARS

CHICAGO - THAT"S JAZZ, 1992 VOL. 2 LACD26

Who's Sorry Now; My Cutie's Due At Two to Two; You're In Kentucky Sure As You're Born; Trouble In Mind; Mandy Make Up Your Mind; Is It True What They Say About Dixie; When; Mama's Gone, Goodbye; Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans; Moonglow; Who Cares; it's Been So Long; The Lady's In Love With You; Blue & Broken Hearted; Miss Annabelle Lee; Since My Best Girl Turned Me Down.

In 1990, when tapes were more in my budget than CDs, I bought Volume 1 of 'Chicago -That's Jazz'. Although my preference is for New Orleans jazz (sorry, the British Trad Jazz fans concept of NO jazz rather than the Hot Jazz put out by that other NO resident Jelly Roll Morton), I do appreciate the smoother and more laid back style that is Chicago jazz. There are times when I don't need the 'catch you by the testicles and twist' attention grabbing that NO jazz always seems to demand. This is true, not just me getting rude. I play jazz in my office most days. Visitors who arrive when NO jazz is on tend to keep getting distracted and looking at the speakers as a band goes through its 'listen to me' routine. Some like it, some hate it, but none can ignore it. Chicago jazz, whilst you can't necessarily ignore it, can play along in the background without demanding your attention all the time (I won't deal with how do I cope with listening to jazz and working at the same time in case my employer reads this review!).

From their beginning, the Sonny Dee All-Stars have given a nod to Eddie Condon, but they play very much in their own style. Volume 2 has the band with a new front-line. With Jeff Williams on trombone they have even managed to get a player who hasn't got white hair! He fits in well with the vastly experienced Al Wynette on trumpet and Geoff Carter on reeds, leader Stan Daly on drums, Austin Malcolm on piano and Gerry Ingram on bass. New line-up, same high quality. There are times when I start to think that it is getting a bit slick, then I catch myself nodding my head and tapping my fingers along with the tune, so I laugh and acknowledge that the boys in fact have got the music just right for the idiom.

It took three attempts to get this CD. First, I lost a completed order form in 1993 and when I dug out a replacement one forgot to add this CD. Then in '95 when the wife and I went back to the UK for a holiday I sent off another order to Lake. I thought I had put '.... That's Jazz' on the list. When I bitched that they hadn't sent it, Lake told me I hadn't ordered it. Well in '97 when I ordered it again, it was Lake that fouled up, but, being the excellent people they are, as soon as I mentioned it, a copy was airmailed out to me - that's service, especially as I had originally only paid for surface mail! Was it worth all the effort? Yes, it is very nice and I expect it to be played regularly both at work and at home.

The only problem I have now is to try and find out when they are called the 'Sonny Dee All-Stars', when no-one in either line-up bears that name.

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PAUL MUNNERY & HIS BAND

Lake LACD96 1998, 16 tracks, 72 min.

I'm In The Market, Dusk, Oh Red! Higginbotham Blues, Too Marvellous For Words, Basin St Blues, Honeysuckle Rose, Ain't No Fool, Flamingo, Send For You Yesterday, San, Gates Blues, Out Of Nowhere, Yacht Club Swing, Then I'll Be Tired Of You, Hello Lola

And now for something entirely different! Led by Paul Munnery of the big classic jazz band, Harlem, this pick-up band refuses to be labelled or put into a box. The front line is Paul Munnery on trombone, the redoubtable Norman Field of the, West Jesmond Rhythm Kings, on reeds and Paul Degville on guitar. Rhythm is by Roscoe Birchmore on bass, Roger Heeley on piano, and Nick Ward on drums. In the notes, Paul claims he wanted to be in a band that was capable of paying all the tunes from the entire repertoire of the classic jazz period. This band certainly achieves that. The inclusion of an electrified guitar in the front line would tend to move it more into the 1950s than the 1930s, but certainly the sound refuses to be pinned down.

This CD is an interesting and entertaining listen. Apart from the unique style of a band there are many rarely played tunes to muse on. This is a really nice and "different" CD that can be enjoyed by a very broad spectrum of jazz fans.

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DOC CHEATHAM & NICHOLAS PAYTON

Verve 314 537 062-2 1997, 14 tracks 63 min.

How Deep Is The Ocean? Jeepers Creepers, Stardust, I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues, Dinah, Save It Pretty Mama, Do You Believe In Love At First Sight? Jada, I Cover The Waterfront, Maybe, Black And Blue, Out Of Nowhere, She's Funny That Way, The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise,

A friend in New Orleans in response to a request sent this CD to me. I had asked for a CD of a "current" New Orleans traditional jazz band. Apparently one of the tracks from the CD had won an "Emmy" award, so she felt that it had to be spot on. Well its is interesting, especially the counterbalance of a 91year old Doc. Cheatham against the 23 year-old Nicholas Payton, but brilliant it ain't: which says much about the paupacy of traditional jazz talent among black musicians in New Orleans today. With both Cheatham and Payton on all tracks, it is impossible to comment on individual playing. Certainly one trumpeter is more hesitant than the other but who it is I do not know. It could be the older man lacking breath, or the younger man lacking experience, who knows. Certainly comparing the two trumpeters on the CD to either British or Scandinavian trumpet players, neither would be regarded as exceptional. In fact they would only be regarded as being: 'average semi- pro'.

Don't get me wrong, the CD is not crap, it is just isn't brilliant, which the "Emmy" award may have led you to believe it would be. Having said this I did love the track " I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues". Just how a 91 year-old could sing so well, especially after blowing his horn, is beyond me. Yes, the CD will get played, as it is not without charm and the band (s) as a whole works well together. But I have since found that if one wants to listen to the best in modern New Orleans traditional jazz one should listen to Dr Michael White's Original Liberty Jazz Band of New Orleans, but that, is another review.........

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ERIC SILK AND HIS SOUTHERN JAZZ BAND

LAKE LACD98 1998, 16 tracks 76 minutes

Over In The Glory Land, Bobby Shafto, Gatemouth, Hotter Than That, Tishomingo Blues, Panama, At A Georgian Camp Meeting, Come On And Stomp, Stomp, Stomp, Black Bottom Stomp, Come Back Sweet Papa, Shimmy-Sha Wobble, Viper Mad, Big Boy, Miss Jenny's Ball, Baby Won't You Please Come Home, Everybody Loves My Baby.

Eric Silk and his Southern Jazz Band are a unique and unusual band: amateur by profession, yet professional in application. This CD has tracks from 1956 and 1958.The jazz is played in a very pleasant and light style, very much in the nature of high quality silk. The sleeve notes claim that Eric didn't like to take risks, and this is true of the music recorded on the CD (as indeed of all the other recordings I have of the band, including one from a BBC Jazz Club session). Whilst the musicians are all first-class and play with great unity and sympathy for each other, and the recordings are indeed very enjoyable to listen to, they lack much of the emotion one expects from New Orleans jazz. Don't be fooled into thinking that this is 'lift music', or 'Hooked on Trad' music, it isn't. It just doesn't grab you by the testicles and shout, "listen to me", the way music by a Ken Colyer band or any band from his from his school would.

There is much to be admired in the ensemble playing by this band and indeed, most often is it is ensemble playing. The CD contains a rare vocal item. On "Baby Won't You Please Come Home", trombonist Graham Beazley gets to work his vocal chords. After having heard him, I'm no longer surprised that Eric usually excluded vocals from his repertoire!

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