It's been four years since I recorded Brian's band - far too long! This was recorded (not a live session) in the village hall at Shackerstone, near where I live, in November 2013. It's an old building with ideal acoustics for this sort of music; I might use it again one day. The band were all on great form - the line-up is:- Peter Wright trumpet, Brian Carrick clarinet and tenor sax, Chas Hudson trombone, Gabriele Gad piano, Bob Rowbotham banjo, Bill Cole double bass, Andrew Hall drums, The tunes are:- Red River Valley, Smile Darn Ya Smile, West Indies Blues, Laughing Samba, Down In Dear Old New Orleans, Near The Cross, We'll Meet Again, My Saviour Is Watching Over You And Me, Yellow Dog Blues, Blue Moon Of Kentucky, Georgia Cakewalk, Nobody's Darlin' But Mine, Maria Elena, High Society, Bad Moon Rising, Christmas Time In New Orleans. (74 mins)
It's many years (16 I think) since I last recorded this fine band and I'm pleased to say their distinctive brand of New Orleans-style jazz has hardly changed. This CD was recorded at a live club session in Somerset on November 29th last year and the thirteen tracks are:-The Thriller; Willie The Weeper; My Melancholy Baby; Marchand de Poissons; How Long has It Been?; Dusty Rag; Collegiate; Aunt Hagar's Children's Blues; One Sweet Letter From You; Does Jesus Care?; Yes Lord I'm Crippled; Double Check Stomp; Magic Is The Moonlight (68 mins). The Band line-up is Steve Graham trumpet; Mike Betts clarinet & tenor sax; Pete Middleton trombone; Mike Denham piano; Eddie Edwards banjo; Pete Ward double bass; Pete Winterhart drums.
If like me you are a fan of the music from the golden age of American songwriting - mostly around the time of the great depression in the 1930s - then you absolutely must have this CD! I defy anyone to listen to Dave Moorwood's marvellous band without a smile on their face; this is truly happy jazz with some wonderful tunes. The line-up is Mike Wills & Tony Blincowe reeds (too many to list here); Perry Lock or Geoff Barwell piano (they shared the recording session); Dave Moorwood guitar; Roger Davis double bass. They are joined by two fine young singers, Susanne Hodgson and Kim Osmond, on 4 tracks each. The tunes are:- When; Jubilee; That Ole Devil Called Love; Shake It And Break It; Jeepers Creepers; Stealin' Apples; Save Your Love For Me; How's About Tomorrow Night?; Clarinet Marmalade; No Love, No Nothin'; I'll See You In C-U-B-A; Kansas City Man Blues; Who Loves You?; The Nearness Of You; As Long As I Live; No Moon At All; Dream Man. (74 min) Highly recommended.
John Ripper, who as the CD title implies, is 80 years of age, has been a professional musician, playing clarinet and saxes, for most of his adult life. He worked in dance bands since the early '60s and on his retirement to Malvern he met many local jazz musicians and then, for a time, played with Paul Munnery's Harlem Jazz Orchestra. He now plays with the Malvern Big Band and sits in with local bands when he can. This CD, recorded in November 2013, features John playing a selection of ballads and jazz standards accompanied by a highly talented quartet - Rod Kelly piano, Phil Probert guitar, Len Thwaites double bass and Graham Smith drums. The tunes are:- There Will Never Be Another You, Satin Doll, All Of Me, The Girl From Ipanema, Teddy The Toad, Misty, Softly As In A Morning Sunrise, Bei Mir Bist Du Schon, Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans, Stoned, If I Had You, You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To, In A Mellow Tone, Tangerine, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Let's Do It. (63min)
This hugely popular band goes from strength to strength and this, their 5th CD with P.E.K., is possibly their best to date. It was recorded at Burton-on-Trent Jazz Club in January 2014. Two new members have joined the band since their previous CD; Terry Williams on trombone (and drums!) and Jim Denham on drums. The rest of the line-up is unchanged - Peter Brown trumpet, cornet, valve trombone; Matt Palmer clarinet, soprano, alto & tenor saxes; Chris Etherington banjo; Brian Lawrence double bass and sousaphone. Helped in part by Brian Lawrence's use of the sousaphone the band is widening its repertoire to include music from the clubs and dance halls of 1930s Harlem, whilst retaining their enthusiasm for the earlier styles of jazz. The tunes are:- Isle Of Capri, Stevedore Stomp, Tie Me To Your Apron Strings Again, Summertime, Buddy's Habit, Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out, Harlem Bound, You're Driving Me Crazy, Ce M'sieur Qui Parle, Sugar, Bugle Boy March, It Happened In Monterey, Undecided, After You've Gone. (71min)
Ruth Frith has been singing on the Midlands jazz scene for many years and is probably best known for fronting the Dixieland music of John Everett's Red Dragon Jazzmen. This CD however is a bit different. Here Ruth takes centre stage and, with Phil Probert's JazzMates backing her, she takes a trip through the Great American Songbook. Her smokey contralto voice and her intimate and uncomplicated treatment of the songs make this a most enjoyable album. The CD was recorded live in front of an invited audience, which gave us the luxury of doing a second take of a tune if the need arose. Ruth is accompanied by Rod Kelly piano and keyboard, Phil Probert guitar, Len Thwaites double bass and Ken Wright drums. They are joined on eight tracks by Alan Jager on tenor sax. The tunes are:- My Honey's Lovin' Arms, Don't Fence Me In, Sentimental Journey, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square, I Thought About You, The End Of A Lovely Day, Flamingo, Blue Turning Grey Over You, I Fall In Love Too Easily, Can't Help Lovin' That Man, I Know Why, It Could Happen To You, Pennies From Heaven, Yellow Dog Blues, C C Rider, Young Woman Blues, How Blue Can You Get, Magic Is The Moonlight. (69min)