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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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Mainstem MSTCD 0042



1. In Case You Didn't Know
2. My Heart Belongs To Daddy
3. Get Happy
4. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)
5. The Bounce Of The Sugar Plum Fairy
6. Blue Skies
7. Skyliner
8. A Blues Serenade
9. Caravan
10. On A Slow Boat To China
11. Ingin' The Ooh
12. 'Swonderful
13. Wanderlust
14. I've Got The World On A String
15. Empty Ballroom Blues
Simon Thorpe - Bass
Lizzie Scott - Vocals
Simon Finch – Trumpet (tracks 4, 7, 10-13)
Bruce Adams – Trumpet (tracks 1-3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 14, 15
Malcolm Earle Smith – Trombone and vocals
Luke Annesley – Clarinet, alto and tenor saxes
Alex Garnett - Tenor and baritone saxes
James Pearson - Piano
Colin Oxley - Guitar
Matt Skelton – Drums (tracks 4, 7, 10-13)
Tom Gordon – Drums (tracks 1-3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 14, 15)

Bassist Simon Thorpe has selected some of Britain’s top musicians for Jivin’ Miss Daisy – his exercise in nostalgia. There’s no attempt at creating an authentic period style but the emphasis is on swing and that’s where the band scores highly. Simon Thorpe’s tight, imaginative arrangements conjure up memories of the John Kirby Sextet with The Bounce of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Charlie Barnet with Skyliner, and Duke Ellington with Wanderlust (this last with a some gutsy baritone sax from Alex Garnett).

The ensemble togetherness is seasoned with some splendid solos – especially from the rousingly extrovert Bruce Adams, Luke Annesley with his multiple reeds, and the ever-impeccable James Pearson. It’s nice to hear guitarist Colin Oxley soloing (however briefly) on My Heart Belongs to Daddy and Get Happy. In fact, most of the solos are short, which means that no track outstays its welcome.

Vocalist Lizzie Scott makes up in enthusiasm for the occasional flaws in her technique (I Got It Bad uncovers some uncertainties in intonation) – and the same applies to Malcolm Earle Smith’s vocals. The repertoire is a well-judged mixture of familiar standards and little-known rarities, all swinging along cheerfully. This will be a popular album with the jiving set – but it can also be enjoyed by sedate stay-at-homes.

Tony Augarde


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