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




Crotchet

TED HEATH

And his Music

SO EASY

Original Recordings

1948-1952

Nostalgia NAXOS 8.120717

  1. Blue Skies March
  2. With a Song in My Heart
  3. Night Train to Scotland
  4. Stratford Water
  5. Deep Forest
  6. Harlem Nocturne
  7. Lady Byrd
  8. My Silent Love
  9. Sidewalks of Cuba
  10. The Nearness of You
  11. Lyonia
  12. Button Up Your Overcoat
  13. You’re Nearer
  14. Roumanian Roundabout
  15. Pagan Love Song
  16. So Easy
  17. London Fog
  18. Hawaiin Mambo (Hawaiin War Chant)
  19. Obsession
  20. Colonel Bogey

Any recording, broadcast or concert by the Ted Heath Band was always of world class quality; Ted had learned his craft in the trombone section of Ambrose’s band and those of Jack Hilton, Geraldo and Syd Lipton. Ted was a disciplinarian and if you did not play and conduct yourself in the way he wanted, then you did not last in his band. The musicianship is as near to perfection as you will ever hear from any big band anywhere in the world. The band played two USA tours and American audiences were very impressed. Ted also realised that if his band was going to be up there with the great US bands; he had to have arrangements, which showed his musicians to maximum effect. The result was that in terms of longevity, the band ran on for many years after his demise under the direction of long time lead trombone Don Lusher.

As usual with the NAXOS re-releases, the sound quality on the CD is excellent and the track selection is very typical of the band in the period 48 to 52. My favourite track is Lady Byrd a Tad Dameron tune that is not heard as often as it should be. The arrangement is by George Shearing and we all know that he was destined to great things after immigrating to the USA. Unfortunately the personnel is not given in the sleeve notes but I think the lead trumpet was Bobby Pratt, the lead alto was certainly Leslie Gilbert, Stan Reynolds plays some of the trumpet solos and Sammy Stokes if featured on bass on track 9.

This whole album is of music played by a band of musicians who were the best available at that time, playing in a band that had perfect tuning and some of the finest section playing heard from any big band. Listen to the Bones on Button Up!

Highly recommended.

Don Mather

 



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