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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke



RAGTIME to SWING
Live at the ROYAL ALBERT HALL
23 September 2000
The Cotton Club Band
Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen
The All Stars

Robinwood Productions RWP0007 CD
Crotchet
 

CD1

Cotton Club Band

  1. Give Me Your Telephone Number
  2. The Ragtime Dance
  3. Vo Do Do De O Blues
  4. West End blues
  5. At the Jazz Band Ball
  6. Minnie the Moocher
  7. I've Got My Fingers Crossed
  8. I Cover the Waterfront
  9. Truckin'
  10. The Joint is Jumpin'
  11. Leaning on a Lamppost (With Nicky Martin)
Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen
  1. So Do I.
  2. At The Jazz Band Ball
  3. Someday (You'll Be Sorry)
  4. Fur Elise
  5. Saturday Night Function
  6. Old Man Mose

CD2

The All Stars

  1. Another Fine Mess
  2. The Big Butter and Egg Man
  3. In a Sentimental Mood. (tribute to Bill Skeet by Tommy Whittle)
  4. Avalon
  5. Blues for Kenny Baker ( tribute by Digby Fairweather, Kenny Ball, and Enrico Tomasso)
  6. As Long As I Live (with Carla Valente)
  7. I'm in Love Again (with Carla Valente)
  8. Swing That Music
  9. Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen
  10. Georgia Swing
  11. It's All Right with Me
  12. Them There Eyes
  13. St Louis Blues
  14. Swing Low Sweet Chariot
  15. All You Need is Love
  16. Woodchoppers Ball ( All the Bands and Nicky Martin)

What a night this was, over 3000 people packed into the Albert Hall for a night of dancing and listening to the best of British Jazz and Swing. The two CD's have really caught the atmosphere, if you're having a party and want some ideal music, this is it!

The Cotton Club Band opens the evening in great style with an interesting programme, which features everyone in the Band. For me the Alistair Allan's Trombone solo on I Cover the WaterFront stole the show, but all the soloists are all excellent and the overall balance and ensemble playing is of a very high standard.

Next up is the Kenny Ball Band, probably the most professional of the UK Trad. outfits. The Band has very well rehearsed routines that make for excellent entertainment as well as good jazz. The rhythm section of this band would be just as capable as a backing unit for any jazz soloist and the front line are all top men. I liked Nick Millward's drumming particularly.

The All stars line up had Roy Williams on trombone, Tommy Whittle on tenor, Dave Shepherd on clarinet, Digby Fairweather on trumpet, Roger Nobes on vibes and an excellent rhythm section of John Pearce piano, Len Skeat Bass and the legendary Ronnie Verrell at the drums. They all justify their billing as 'All Stars', my particular favourite was Tommy Whittle's playing of In a Sentimental Mood as a tribute to the late Bill Skeat. There is also a nice tribute to the late Kenny Baker by the three Trumpeters Ball, Fairweather and Tomasso. Carla Valente chips in with a couple of stylish vocal offerings and it is obvious that she has done this kind of work before!

After this its back to Kenny Ball and by this time in the evening in the word's of the song, 'The Joint is Jumpin', if you like your jazz happy, relaxed and with a feeling that everyone was enjoying themselves, this is for you!

Don Mather

Don Mather is a saxophone player and Bandleader in Coventry



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