Mellow Avstreih is without doubt one of the best jazz singers in the country and I have thought for some time how good it would be to record her with a small band of the calibre of Paul Munnery's. Mellow has an amazing ability to take a good song and make it her own, with her own individual interpretation, whilst remaining true to the original. As Paul says in the sleevenotes, " . . . her remarkable tone, her apparently limitless versatility and her unique, sometimes startling command of timing. Above all she has that indefinable knack of squeezing the last ounce of passion from a good tune and a poetic lyric". I think by any standards this is a great CD. The band line-up is Paul Munnery trombone and slide guitar; Hugh Roberts clarinet and tenor sax; Rod Kelly or Phil Blandford piano; Rachel Hayward guitar; Tony Sharp double bass; Al Sharpe drums. It was recorded in July 2007 with some tracks coming from a live session. The tunes are:- Moments Like This, T'ain't Nobody's Business, Fine and Dandy, You Go To My Head, Sweethearts On Parade, Blue Because Of You, Love Me Or Leave Me, Mobile Bay Blues, Easy To Love, Strong In The Arm, These Foolish Things, Back In Your Own Backyard, Where Or When, Oh Lady Be Good. Mellow sings on seven tracks. (65min)
The first CD by a recently formed band is always welcome and especially so when the band contains such fine musicians as:- Steve Graham trumpet; Dave Martin cornet, John Wurr reeds; Tom Whittingham trombone; Mike Denham piano; Mike Cox banjo and Ron Berry drums. The band originated out of the collaboration between Steve Graham and Mike Denham who have appeared together for several years as Original Rags. Whilst the band plays the music of King Oliver their repertoire also includes ragtime pieces and other less well known tunes from the period. The tunes on this CD, recorded live at the 2007 Keswick Jazz Festival, are:- New Orleans Stomp, Chattanooga Stomp, Sensation - A Rag, Just Gone, Spanish Shawl, Red Man Blues, The Ragtime Dance, Over In The Gloryland, Sweet Like This, Froggie Moore, Southern Stomps, The Minstrel Man, Snake Rag, Wang Wang Blues. (69min)
This is the band's sixth CD I have recorded for Hugh's band and like the others it contains an eclectic mix of jazz tunes from the first half of the last century - actually that's not strictly true, there are two tunes from the 1960s! The band's distinctive sound comes from the use of two reeds in the front line and the skillful arrangements by Hugh Rainey. The band line-up is Hugh Rainey trumpet; Jack Clifford and Brian Hart reeds; Les Handscombe trombone; Dave Browning piano; Terry Godwin guitar & banjo; Derek Pring double bass & tuba; John Baker drums. The tunes are:- Down Home Rag, Hot Lips, What Is This Thing Called Love, Night Ferry, Jelly Bean Blues, Easy Does It, Putting On The Ritz, That's All, Dusty Rag, Albatross, Farewell To Storyville, Caravan, I'm Crazy 'bout My Baby, A Kiss To Build A Dream On, Marianne, Blue Prelude, Esquire Bounce, Riviera Strut, My Old Kentucky Home, Hello Mary Lou Goodbye Heart, Tia Juana - a total of 21 tracks! ( 75min).
It's more than five years since the last CD by Ron Rumbol's excellent, and very danceable, New Orleans-style band. This CD was recorded live at one of the Midlands' best jazz clubs, at Newbold Verdon in Leicestershire. The line-up is unchanged from PKCD-211, namely Jim Holmes trumpet & vocals; Ron Rumbol clarinet & alto sax; John Wiseman trombone; Doug Kennedy banjo & guitar; Ray Goold double bass and Dave Evans drums. These last three make up one of the best rhythm sections you are likely to hear anywhere. The tunes are:- When I Grow Too Old To Dream, Yes Yes In Your Eyes, If You See Me Coming, Smiles, Clarinet Marmalade, Out Of Nowhere, The Curse Of An Aching Heart, I Double Dare You, New Orleans, I Love You, We Shall Walk Through The Streets Of The City, Roll Along Prairie Moon, Dauphin Street Blues, My Monday Date. (77 mins).
By pure coincidence, just over a month after recording Ron Rumbol's band, I was back at Newbold Verdon to record this superb CD by the ever-popular Rae Brothers Band, who are well known and loved for their unassuming ensemble New Orleans style. Since their last recording the band has been joined by Ian Wynne on piano. I always like to hear a piano in a traditional jazz band; it fills out the rhythm sound and gives an extra dimension to the music. Ian is a very talented young musician (he is still just in his teens I believe) and has proved a great asset to the band. The other band members are Clem Avery trumpet; Mac Rae clarinet; Jim Blenkin trombone; Dave Rae banjo; John Robinson double bass and Paul Bacon drums. The tunes on this, their ninth CD for P.E.K. are:- Ma He's Making Eyes At Me, Early Hours, Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey, On Higher Ground, Careless Love Blues, Honky Tonk Train Blues, Sentimental Journey, Willie The Weeper, Lily Of The Valley, Crawfish Fiesta, Chicken, Running Wild, Amapola, Bell Bottom Trousers, Down By The Riverside, Caldonia - an interesting mix of old favourites and some unusual and rarely-heard tunes. (72mins).
Sarah lives in the USA but makes regular visits to England. It was during one of her recent visits in September 2007, when she was touring with her Transatlantic Band, that this CD was recorded. It was a live session at the Civic Hall Chertsey where Runnymede Jazz Club meet. The band line-up will tell you what to expect - this really is an allstar band:- Steve Graham trumpet; Sarah tenor sax & vocals; Geoff Cole trombone, Eric Webster banjo; Annie Hawkins double bass; Chris Marchant drums. It was a storming session of hot and exciting New Orleans-style music right from the first note of the first tune. You can feel and hear the band's excitement as the CD plays. The tunes on the CD are:- Roll Along Prairie Moon, Railroad Blues; Silver Bell, Whenever You're Lonesome, Creole Song, My Memphis Baby, Uptown Bumps, Short Dress Gal, TV Mama, Magic Is The Moonlight, Bogalousa Strut, Just A Closer Walk With Thee. (76mins).