Susan Valliant Speer was born in California and moved to England seven years ago. There are many female jazz singers on the scene but I would venture to say none like Susan! She has a remarkable voice, powerful yet sensitive and she delivers a song like few other singers I have heard. On this superb CD she is accompanied by Dave Moorwood's Rascals of Rhythm. I am, as you know, a great fan of Dave Moorwood's music; I think it's a great pity that, because he has an unconventional line-up and often plays little-known tunes, his band does not receive the recognition it deserves. The band line-up is Mike Wills and Tony Blincowe clarinets and saxes, Perry Lock piano, Dave Moorwood guitar, Roger Davis double bass. The tunes on this CD (a studio recording on which Susan sings on 9 of the 16 tracks) are:- I'm The Lonesomest Girl In Town, Downhearted Blues, Copenhagen, Fair And Square, Pardon My Southern Accent, I'm The Last Of The Red Hot Mamas, Out Of The Gallion, Ooh That Kiss, Le Marchand Du Poissons, Brother Can You Spare A Dime, Hard Hearted Hannah, Last Night On The Back Porch, When Day Is Done, Thou Swell, Mama's Got The Blues, Doctor Jazz. (71 mins).
It's more than eight years since I last released a new CD by The Forest New Orleans Jazz Band - that's about seven years too many I reckon! I like this band for their unpretentious approach to New Orleans music, and I also very much like Arthur Stead's trumpet playing. The band is based in the North of England and they don't often travel far from their home base near Colne in Lancashire. So you're unlikely to be able to hear them live unless you live in that part of the country. The line-up is:- Arthur Stead trumpet, John Brunton clarinet and tenor sax, Jack Moore trombone, Tom Culbert piano, Ron Peyton banjo, Alan Noble double bass, Dave Stanley drums. The tunes are:- Salutation March, Careless Love Blues, Why Should I Cry Over You, In The Gloaming, You Can't Be True Dear, Perdido Street Blues, When I Move To The Sky, All The Girls Go Crazy 'bout The Way I Walk, I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover, When The Moon Plays Peek-a-Boo, Franklin Street Blues, True (You Don't Love Me), Sun Inn Boogie, Colorado Sunset Goodnight. The CD was recorded in April 2006 - some tracks are live recordings. (76 mins)
This superb CD of swinging Chicago-style jazz was recorded live in March 2006. Dave Moorwood assembled a band of top class musicians (Ben Cummings tpt; Mike Wills & Tony Blincowe reeds; Kevin Grenfell tb; Roger Heeley pno; Dave Moorwood gtr; Roger Davis bs; Tony Augarde dms) to play an easygoing session of the kind that Eddie Condon used to organise. As with every session I have seen involving Dave Moorwood this was a hugely enjoyable evening and I think it shows on the CD. The tunes are:- Indiana, Laughing At Life, Mama's Gone Goodbye, Swing Mister Charlie, Jelly Bean Blues, California Here I Come, Boiled Owl, Medley (Polkadots And Moonbeams, You've Changed, A Weaver Of Dreams, I Fall In Love Too Easily), Mandy Make Up Your Mind, That Da Da Strain.(69 mins).
Here is the first CD by Paul Munnery's superb small band. Recorded live at the 2006 Bude Jazz Festival, the band line-up is John Shillito trumpet; Robert Fowler clarinet & ten sax; Paul Munnery trombone; Nick Gill piano; Rachel Hayward guitar; Tony Sharp bass; Dion Cochrane drums. They play the sort of jazz you might have heard 'after-hours' in a jazz club on 52nd Street, New York in the 1930s. The session was very well received by an enthusiastic audience which, and this is always a good sign, included several off-duty musicians. The tunes are:- Joe Louis Stomp, I Wished On The Moon, Somebody Loves Me, Strike Up The Band, For All We Know, You, Snowy Morning Blues, All My Life, In The Middle Of A Kiss, If Dreams Come True. (65 mins).
It is less than a year since the last CD by Richard's exciting Chicago-style band which models itself on the great Alex Welsh band of the 1950s and '60s. At present the trumpet chair in the band is shared between Gordon Whitworth, who appeared on the previous CD, and Allen Beechey who plays on this CD; Richard wanted to have recent recordings available featuring both Gordon and Allen. It was recorded live in November 2006 and, as with all the band's previous CDs, it was live at Stourbridge RFC Jazz Club. The line-up is Allen Beechey trumpet; Chris Pearce clarinet alto & soprano saxes; Richard Leach trombone; Mike Graver piano; Brian Mellor guitar & banjo; Roger Davis bass; Graham Smith drums. The tunes are:- China Boy, You Took Advantage Of Me, Monday Date, New Orleans, Dippermouth Blues, Jazz Me Blues, A Ghost Of A Chance, Girl Of My Dreams, Mandy Make Up Your Mind, Just Relax, Fidgety Feet, Crying My Heart Out For You, Home, Christopher Columbus. (79 mins).
Here is another super CD by this marvellous band whose popularity is well deserved. It was recorded over two days early in January 2007 (not live sessions) and the band are on fine form. The line-up is the same as their previous CD (PKCD-288 'Renovated') namely Chris Mercer trumpet; Chris Pearce clarinet & saxes; Richard Leach trombone; Clinton Sedgley banjo; Andy Robins double bass; Graham Smith drums. The tunes are:- Down In Honky Tonk Town, Ol' Miss Rag, Flat Foot, Aunt Hagar's Blues, Memphis Shake, High Society, Ain't Misbehavin', Keyhole Blues, Button Up Your Overcoat, Melancholy Blues, Ostrich Walk, Sweet Substitute, South, When The Midnight Choo Choo Leaves For Alabam', Last Mile Blues, Bei Mir Bis Du Schon. As you can see from the list of tunes this is not a band to be pigeon-holed into any particular jazz style. Good for them I say! (74 min).