THE THOMAS BAND AT MOOSE HALL 1968

KID THOMAS VALANTINE & his ALGEIRS STOMPERS

JAZZ CRUSADE JCCD 3064 2001 10 tracks 55 min

Walk Through The Streets Of The City, Introduction Blues, Algiers Strut, Blueberry Hill, Eh! Las Bas, Sweet Sue, Four Leaf Clover, Just A Closer Walk With Thee, The Object Of My Affection, Kid Thomas Boogie Woogie

As a kid, did you ever watch one of those French Foreign Legion films, where the legionaries are trapped in a fort and hoards of Bedouin are swarming over the walls? The hero turns to his nervous colleagues and says; 'Courage , mon braves, courage'. Well thatís what I needed when I first listened to this CD. I cannot argue that it is not New Orleans jazz, for indeed well-known natives of that city play it. The recording is a live concert in 1968 for the Connecticut Traditional Jazz Club. The problem is that it is New Orleans jazz, but not as I know it. To my ears, raised on the European interpretation of New Orleans filtered through the laid back and mellow teachings of the Guv'nor Ken Colyer, it is brash, hard driving and at times discordant. Yet some how I am fascinated, rather like a snake before a charmer! Like the snake once it is over I find that I need to hide in my nice quite and dark basket before coming out to face the charmer again.

I have commented in other reviews about the different ways in which New Orleans jazz has developed in its native America and how it has developed in Britain/Europe. If you are not sure what I mean, then get this CD and play it alongside say Jazz Crusades JCCD-3055 'That Salty Dog, Pat Hawes'. Alternate the CDs track and track about and see what I mean. Whilst as a child of British/European traditional jazz I am more comfortable with Colyer style New Orleans jazz, I believe that it is essential that traditional jazz lovers expose themselves to all the various nuances of the music. If you are American, then get one of jazz Crusade's CDs by a European band. If you are European, or like many Ozzies and Kiwis more used to very early American or later British/European style New Orleans jazz then try this CD to see the difference.

'The Thomas Band At Moose Hall 1968' is a unique experience and of historical value being a 'lost' recording and never before issued. If you fancy some hot spicy Creole gumbo, this could be right up your street!

One question that I have, and still await the answer to: does the 'Twat' in bass player Joseph 'Twat' Butler's name mean the same as 'twat' does in London slang? Cos if it does I sure wouldn't be happy if it were me that was being called it!

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