British Jazz Legends
- Sometimes I’m Happy
- Frankie & Johnny
- Body & Soul
- That’s My Home
- Love Me or Leave Me
- I’m Confessin’
- The Green Leaves of Summer
- Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
- Me & Buck
- Buona Sera
- I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate
- Sometimes I’m Happy (reprise)
John Chilton’s Feetwarmers
John Vinten – Piano, Kenny Baldock – Bass, Eddie Taylor – Drums.
Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band
Colin Wood – Piano, Tucker Finlayson – Bass, Ritchie Bryant – Drums
Humphrey Lyttelton and his Band
Kathy Stobart – Tenor & Baritone, Jimmy Hastings – Alto, Pete Strange
– Trombone, Ted Beament – Piano, Mick Hutton – Bass, Adrian McIntosh
Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen
Hugh Ledigo – Piano, John Benson – Bass, Nick Millward – Drums, John
Bennett – Trombone, Andy Cooper – Clarinet
George Melly – Vocals
Don Lusher – Trombone
John Dankworth Alto & Clarinet
What a pleasant surprise this record turned out to be. I was expecting
that it would be ancient recordings from the classic British bands dating
back to God knows when. I was quite wrong however, this session took
place in July 2001 and it sounds like it was great fun. All the musicians
were in the studio together and a number of them had played in the other
of the bands previously, it must have been like ‘old homes week’.
As an example Eddie Taylor, who on this occasion was with John Chiltern’s
Band, has played previously with the John Dankworth Seven and was for
many years a stalwart of Humph’s Band.
John Dankworth and Don Lusher float between various ensembles, Dankworth
plays a nice solo version of Body and Soul with Ted Beamont out of Humph’s
band and Kenny Baldock and Eddie Taylor from the Feetwarmer’s.
The tunes are all ‘good old good ones’ and whilst stylistically there
is quite a difference between performers, it all goes together very
well. Don Lusher, who I have always regarded as the ultimate Big Band
Lead Bone player, fits in well and his big tone and smooth style are
great assets in any band. S’Wonderful has Kenny Ball, Acker, John Dankworth
and Don Lusher with the Chiltern band, in what turns out to be quite
a swinging affair.
George Melly is one of the great characters of the British Jazz scene,
I have just finished re-reading ‘Owning Up’ a book he wrote about his
time with the Mick Mulligan Band and a very interesting and amusing
read it was too. Frankie & Johnny has always been associated with
George and I’m sure that if he did not do it on concerts, he would get
so many requests that he may as well do it anyway!
Squiggles shows of the Lyttelyon Band to good effect, with nice solos
all round, the arrangement presumably by Pete Strange makes the band
sound larger than it really is.
It was good to hear the Alto playing of Jimmy Hastings, one of the
most under-rated of British jazz players as well as Kathy Stobart who
is still the best female tenor player to date. Me & Buck, the second
Lyttelton track is one of those blues tunes we have all played, but
few of us know what it’s called. Humph used it for some years as the
intro to his radio record programme on Monday evenings.
All the other bands perform well and for anyone who likes to listen
without having to concentrate too much and we all need to do that sometimes,
this album is ideal