We are so fortunate in Britain to have a wealth of supremely talented young jazz musicians. Now I know "young" is a subjective word but, by any standards, three of the five musicians on this CD are young - and so talented! Amy Roberts is undoubtedly one of Britain's greatest rising stars in the jazz world. In only a few years she has gone from being a very young aspiring sax player who would sit in with bands from time to time, to being well established in her own right as a top flight reeds player with her own identifiable style. Her enthusiasm and enjoyment of the music is plain to see and, I hope also, to hear on this recording which was made in July 2012 at Barnsley Jazz Club. When you put two great musicians together you often find the end result is so much greater than the sum of the parts. The pairing of Amy with John Hallam is simply inspired and inspiring. John is an incredibly versatile musician with many years experience of the British jazz scene. As a musical team they are brilliant. Then there is the stunning rhythm section of Tom Kincaid piano, Jim Swinnerton double bass and (yes, you've guessed it) Graham Smith drums. The tunes are:- Dinah, If I Had You, Manhã de Carnaval, Lester Leaps In, Black And Blue, Christopher Columbus, On The Sunny Side Of The Street, It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Out Of Nowhere, Creole Love Call, Rosetta. (71min)
Here is the latest CD by Martin Bennett's excellent and distinctive New Orleans-style band. It was recorded live at Burton-on-Trent Jazz Club in Feb. 2013. In these recessionary times it's good to see bands and jazz clubs flourishing, and both Martin's band and Burton Jazz Club are doing just that. The band travel far and wide throughout UK and Europe playing to enthusiastic audiences wherever they go. The line-up (slightly changed from their last CD) is Chez Chesterman trumpet; Howard Murray reeds; John Finch trombone; Martin Bennett piano; Roscoe Birchmore double bass and Jack Cotterill drums. The tunes are:- It's Only A Paper Moon, Don't Sweetheart Me, Hindustan, My Mother's Eyes, Marie, Some Sweet Day, Give Me Your Telephone Number, The Curse Of An Aching Heart, 'deed I Do, Be Easy With Me Baby. (72 mins)
Since the release of "Volume One" (PKCD-365) in December 2011 the band has undergone some personnel changes but continues Chris's declared policy of playing high quality traditional jazz which is not hidebound by any particular musical style - no pigeon-holing here! This CD was recorded (not a live session) at Beoley Village Hall in Worcestershire in May 2013. The line-up is Tony Pipkin trumpet; Chris Pearce reeds; Richard Leach trombone; Phil Probert banjo & guitar; Tony Sharp double bass; Graham Smith drums. The choice of tunes reflects Chris's musical aims:- Shim Me Sha Wabble, Perdido Street Blues, Louisian-I-Ay, Tin Roof Blues, Dear Old Southland, Saratoga Swing, Cherry, On Treasure Island, Waiting For The Robert E. Lee, Willow Weep For Me, Sweet Like This, I'm In The Mood For Love, Oh Sister Ain't That Hot, Saint James Infirmary Blues, Stevedore Stomp, The Battle Hymn Of The Republic. (75 mins).
Sarah Thatcher had planned to launch her new band at the 2012 Keswick Jazz Festival but, following the tragic death of her husband Norman in April 2012, that was not to be. At the 2013 Festival the band appeared in its present form and this recording comes from one of their sessions. The line-up, all hugely experienced New Orleans-style musicians, is Steve Graham trumpet; Liz Bacon clarinet; Tom Whittingham trombone; Gabriele Gad piano; Sarah Thatcher banjo & guitar; Annie Hawkins double bass; Paul Bacon drums. The tunes are:- Don't Sweetheart Me, Smiles, Dusty Rag, My Blue Heaven, Dauphin Street Blues, Willie The Weeper, Love Songs Of The Nile, The White Cliffs Of Dover, I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket, Franklin Street Blues, I Can't Begin To Tell You, C C Rider, Tipi Tipi Tin, Beautiful Ohio, Sobbing Blues. (76 mins)
A new CD from John Maddocks' superb band is always welcome and this one (their 12th on the P.E.K. Sound label) is no exception. It was recorded - not a live session - in the grand setting of The Gregg School, Townhill House, Eastleigh in May 2013. The line-up is Peter Wilkinson trumpet; John Maddocks clarinet & saxes; Tony Farr trombone; Chris Satterly piano; George Skidmore banjo & guitar; Peter McCurrie double bass & tuba; Brian Barker drums. There is a mystery guest clarinet player on one track. Can you guess who it is? I'm offering a £5 voucher for the first person to correctly identify this musician. The tunes are:- Wang Wang Blues, Just A Closer Walk With Thee, Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well, Kansas City Stomps, Dead Man Blues, Out Of The Gallion, It's Tight Like That, Si Tu Vois Ma Mere, Just A Little While To Stay Here, I Can't Begin To Tell You, Mandy Lee Blues, Creole Jazz, Jeeps Blues, Pretty Boy. (67 mins)
Recorded at Burton-on-Trent Jazz Club in April 2013 this is the first CD for P.E.K. by Kevin's supremely talented band. Paul Harrison has played with many great UK bands - Phil Mason, Max Collie, Steve Lane etc - and now runs his own band in Denmark where he lives. The line-up is Kevin Grenfell trombone and trumpet; Paul Harrison soprano sax and clarinet; Simon Banks piano; John Fellows double bass and sousaphone; Graham Smith drums. It's been about five years since I'd seen Simon Banks and to be honest I'd forgotten what an amazing pianist he is. The tunes are:- Mister Sandman, Bogalousa Strut, Girl Of My Dreams, Struttin' With Some Barbecue, Fidgety Feet, The Old Folks At Home, Basin St Blues, Creole Jazz, Le Marchand De Poissons, Wild Cat Blues, Sail Along Silvery Moon, It's A Sin To Tell A Lie, Perdido Street Stomp, Blame It On The Blues. There's a bit of a Bechet theme in that tunes list! By the way this was Kevin's first public appearance on trumpet. (67 mins)