As the title suggests this CD of Martin's great band comes from a live session, recorded in November 2010 (just as the weather started to turn nasty) at The Shire Hall, Howden near Goole. Since their last recording Chez Chesterman has joined the band on cornet and Roscoe Birchmore on double bass. Also they are now a six-piece band with no banjo. Despite these changes the band's distinctive sound is as strong as ever. Their vibrant earthy New Orleans style marks this band out from almost any other, and who could fail to recognise Martin's piano or vocal style? The other members of the band are Howard Murray on reeds, John Finch on trombone, and Stuart Smith on drums. The tunes are:- I'm Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover, My Drinking Baby, Alice Blue Gown, You're The Only Girl (I Ever Really Loved), Sweet Fields, Creole Love Call, Someday You'll Be Sorry, Savoy Blues, It's Nobody's Fault But Mine, Sleepy Time Gal, Just Remember Me, C Jam Blues. (77min)
At the 2010 Keswick Jazz Festival Amy's band played to a packed house at the Skiddaw Hotel. How refreshing it is to see (and for me to record) a band comprised entirely of young musicians - the oldest is in his mid-thirties. The line-up is Amy Roberts alto sax and clarinet, Andy Hillier trombone, Tom Kincaid piano, Jim Swinnerton double bass and Stuart Smith drums. Amy's musical career goes from strength to strength. Still in her early twenties she topped the Rising Star section of the British Jazz Awards in 2009 and has recently been on tour with the Big Chris Barber Band in Germany. However in no way does she eclipse the other members of the band; this is truly an all-star band. We are fortunate indeed to have such a wealth of young musical talent in the British jazz scene. The tunes are:- Down By The Riverside, Black And Blue, Button Up Your Overcoat, Tin Roof Blues, China Boy, Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans, Go To New Orleans, Just A Closer Walk With Thee, Who's Sorry Now (66min).
There is a vast, almost untapped, stock of wonderful popular songs most of them written in the 1920s and '30s. To their credit there are today jazz musicians who make a deliberate and conscious effort to unearth some of these songs and bring them back to life. Names which come to mind are Dave Moorwood, Chas Hudson (Algiers Stompers), Arthur Stead (Forest N.O.J.B.) and of course Sheila Fawkes. On this, Sheila's second CD she is joined by the same group of top-class musicians as were on her first CD (PKCD-290 "If I Could Be With You") namely, George Huxley clarinet, soprano & alto saxes; Terry McGrath trombone, soprano & alto saxes; Jon Penn piano; Geoff Over banjo & guitar and Mark Johnson double bass & tuba. The tunes on this delightful album are:- Mean To Me, If I Didn't Have You, Kitchen Man, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, Dancing With Tears In My Eyes, The Song Of Songs, Sam The Old Accordion Man, I'm Coming Virginia, What Wouldn't I Do For That Man, Georgia Cabin, Hello Baby, You're The Cream In My Coffee, The Girl I Knew, Red Hot Henry Brown, Someday Sweetheart, Get Up Off Your Knees Papa, Of All The Wrongs You've Done To Me, Papa De Da Da. (72min). I'll wager that few if any of you will know all the tunes on this CD!
Of all the venues where I have recorded jazz bands, and there've been quite a few, one of the most scenic and attractive is Discovery Point in Dundee. The modern first floor concert room overlooks the dock where Captain Scott's ship Discovery is moored, and floodlit at night - very lovely. It's also the furthest North I've ever recorded. Last October Ann and I drove to Dundee to record the Storyville Allstars' annual concert. All was going well until about two hours before the start when the news reached us that Dave Fimister the trumpet player with the band had just been rushed into hospital with a suspected heart attack. At that late stage there was no prospect of finding a dep trumpet player so the band went on stage as a six-piece led by Walt Smith on clarinet. The result was a huge success! The reduced line-up is Walt Smith clarinet; Frank Rossiter trombone; Iain Mathieson keyboard; John Whyte guitar; Calum McKenzie double bass; Mike Hardie drums and Yvonne Robb vocal on six tracks. The tunes are:- Tishomingo Blues, Summertime, After You've Gone, I Want A Little Girl, Ain't He Sweet, Texas Moaner, Chattanooga Choo Choo, East Of The Sun, When My Dreamboat Comes Home, Carnival Time, Avalon, Out Of Nowhere, That Old Black Magic, St Thomas, Big House Blues, Down By The Riverside, Easter Parade. (75mins)
Here is something very different from my usual output of jazz CDs. At the 1995 Bude Jazz Festival I recorded The Stackyard Stompers but for reasons which are long forgotten the tracks were never released. Then a few months ago John Pickett (trumpet player with the band) contacted me to discuss releasing a CD from that session as a tribute to Tony Jack (clarinet and saxes), and here it is. Tony, who died in 2006, was arguably one of the greatest unsung jazz talents this country has ever produced, never receiving the recognition he deserved. He played for several years with the Stackyard Stompers recreating the music of the white American Jazz Bands of the 1920s, and also with Paul Munnery's big band Harlem. The band line-up is John Pickett trumpet; Tony Jack clarinet, alto & tenor saxes; Christine Woodcock trombone; Chris Plummer banjo; Andrew Farnham tuba; Richard Howell percussion, and the tunes are:- Running Wild, Sensation, The Pearls, Clap Hands Here Comes Charley, Bouncing Around, Ain't Misbehavin', Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble, East St Louis Toodle-oo, The Terror, You'll Long For Me, White Ghost Shivers, Kansas City Kitty, Aunt Hagar's Blues, Since My Best Girl Turned Me Down, Brown Sugar, Shoe Shiner's Drag, Candy Lips, Putting On The Ritz, Sobbing Blues, Meat On The Table, Dreaming The Hours Away, Variety Stomp. (67mins) Listeners should note that the 16 year old sound quality is not quite as good as you have come to expect from P.E.K. Sound!
It's almost twenty years since I recorded George Huxley's superb band, and this is the first CD I have made for them; it was recorded under studio conditions in May 2011. This is undoubtedly one of Britain's finest traditional jazz bands - seven top class musicians most of whom have been together for decades; George's association with Gordon Whitworth goes back over forty years. The line-up is Gordon Whitworth trumpet; George Huxley clarinet, soprano & alto saxes; Ron Hills trombone; Jon Penn piano; John Fellows double bass & sousaphone; Barry Norman drums; Caz Shennington vocals on four tracks. The tunes are:- Ol' Miss Rag, Georgia Bo Bo, Take Me Back To New Orleans, Petite Fleur, Georgia Swing, When My Sugar Walks Down The Street, Civil War Medley, My Lucky Rag, Sugar Blues, Whistlin' Rufus, Million Dollar Secret, Limehouse Blues, Singing The Blues, Strut Miss Lizzie, Song Of Songs, Shakin' The Blues Away, Struttin' With Some Barbecue, Going Home, At The Jazz Band Ball. (76mins)