The Black Swan at Hollins Green, Warrington is where Martin Bennett holds his regular monthly club sessions, usually with his Old Green River Band. On this occasion he was able to obtain the services of Jack Andersson (trumpet) from Sweden who was in town having his instrument serviced. Howard Murray (reeds) was away and John Hallam stepped in. Derek Galloway (for many years the front man of the Temperance Seven) joined the band on trombone. This was a proper old-style impromptu pub jazz session and the result is here for you to enjoy. The other band members are Martin Bennett piano; Ed Lloyd Hughes double bass and Stuart Smith drums. The tunes are:- I Found A New Baby; West End Blues; Pennies From Heaven; My Mother's Eyes; Nobody's Sweetheart; Things Ain't What They Used To Be; Home; Bei Mir Bis Du Schon; Pink Champagne; Exactly Like You; Royal Garden Blues (69min)
Joe Nutman is possibly the best pianist you've never heard of! He was classically trained in the 1950s and '60s when, of course, ragtime was not part of the classical music curriculum, being still somewhat unacceptable perhaps due to its associations with the bordellos of the early 20th century. In more recent years Joe has studied ragtime piano and on this CD he has produced some lovely interpretations of several very well-known rags as well as some lesser and even virtually unknown pieces. When I fiirst heard piano rags it was from an LP of pianola rags; where the music was played mechanically from a roll of punched card. And it sounded mechanical! The subtle variations of tempo and dynamics which Joe introduces really bring this lovely music to life. The tunes are:- Elite Syncopations; Bethena; The Chevy Chase Rag; The Entertainer; Ragtime Dance; Magnetic Rag; The Birds Carnival; Gladiolus Rag; Troublesome Ivories; The Easy Winners; Kitten On The Keys; Stoptime Rag; Pineapple Rag; The Blue Goose Rag; Original Rags; Maple Leaf Rag (62min)
Ragtime is an important element in the evolution of traditional jazz and I do urge you to give this CD a listen - highly recommended.
The Keswick Jazz Festival was launched in 1992 and Brian Carrick's Heritage Hall Stompers played two sessions on the opening dayl. I recorded both and a selection of the tunes played was released on cassette later in 1992 (PKC-010). Some time ago I listened to this tape again and suggested to Brian that it was so good it should be re-issued on CD. Brian agreed without hesitation and so here it is! It was recorded under difficult conditions in the small and very crowded bar of The Kings Arms Hotel. Obviously the recording quality is not up to present-day standards but this deficiency is more than made up for by the electric atmosphere and the superb music. The line-up is:- Peter Wright trumpet; Brian Carrick clarinet & tenor sax; Jeff Milner trombone; Keith Stephen banjo; Malcolm Moyer double bass; Taff Lloyd drums. The tunes are:- Bugle Boy March; On A Coconut Island; Don't Sweetheart Me; Collegiate; S'il Vous Plait; New Orleans Hula; Creole Love Call; Over The Waves. This last track runs for nearly eleven minutes and has the audience roaring! (62min)
Here's the second CD for P.E.K. by this fine Yorkshire band. It was recorded in front of an enthusiastic audience at The Risley Park Jazz Club in March 2016. One of the band's many attractions is the flexibility of their line-up. Most bands will break the band down to a quartet during a session for a couple of feature tunes, but the Savannah Jazz Band have the great advantage that Brian Ellis (trombone) is also a fine pianist and Bill Smith (cornet) plays a mean harmonica. The result is that we have here a couple of tunes - "Nothing Blues" and "Ain't That Just Like A Woman?" - which have a fresh and very different sound from all the other tracks. The line-up is unchanged from their previous CD (PKCD-392) namely:- Bill Smith cornet, vocals, harmonica; Roger Myerscough clarinet, alto sax, vocals; Brian Ellis trombone, piano; Chris Marney banjo, vocals; Tony Pollitt bass; John Meehan drums, and the tunes are:- Why Don't You Go Down To New Orleans?; Dallas Blues; Lily Of The Valley; Shout 'em Aunt Tilly; Am I Blue; Black Cat On The Fence; Nothing Blues; All Alone By The Telephone; His Eye Is On The Sparrow; Girl Of My Dreams; Yes, Yes In Your Eyes; Ain't That Just Like A Woman?; Just A Little While To Stay Here. (63min)
Here is the second volume from the 1992 sessions with Brian's great band on superb form once more. There are four tracks from the Bude Jazz Festival in August and five from a session at The Waggon And Horses, Redhill, Nottingham in September. The line-up is similar to that on Volume 1 except that for the Bude tracks Ken Matthews and Annie Hawkins share double bass duties and Malc Murphy is on drums, whilst for the Nottingham session Taff Lloyd is on drums. The tunes are:- Red Wing, Darktown Strutters Ball, Mobile Stomp, Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey, The First Choice, Funeral Sequence, Saint Philip St Breakdown, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, St Louis Blues. (65mins)
The Millenium Eagle Jazz Band have changed their name back to The Eagle Jazzband, their original name when the band formed in 1951, but nothing else has changed. They are still one of UK's finest hot traditional jazz bands and this CD from a session last March at Burton-on-Trent Jazz Club, shows the band on fine form, as usual! The line-up is the same as their last CD (PKCD387 "Harlem Bound") and the tunes are:- When You And I Were Young Maggie, Whistling Rufus, Buona Sera, The Mooche, Maple Leaf Rag, Somebody Stole My Gal, Memories Of You, If I Had A Talking Picture Of You, The Coffee Grinder, Ol' Miss Rag, The Old Rugged Cross, T'aint What You Do It's The Way That You Do It, So Relax, Ice Cream. (74mins)