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Ken Colyer Ė Memories; a Jazz Club Session with Ken Colyerís Jazzmen

LAKE LACD256 [77:57]




Milneburg Joys
Wabash Blues
When I Leave The World Behind
Chinatown, My Chinatown
St Jamesí Infirmary Blues
The Entertainer
Harlem Rag
Swipsey Cakewalk
Paper Moon
Sweet Georgia Brown
Yellow Dog Blues
Tiger Rag.
Ken Colyer (trumpet and vocal), Sammy Rimington (clarinet), Geoff Cole (trombone), Johnny Bastable (banjo), Ron Ward (bass) and Pete Ridge (drums)
rec. Dancing Slipper, Nottingham, c.1963


Thereís a great deal of live Colyer material now available and quite a lot of it emanates from the Dancing Slipper in Nottingham where a progressive attitude was taken regarding the recording of live concerts. This particular disc bears the rather swanky subtitle of The Allan Gilmour Tapes, whose homemade gear captured many, many hours of music.

Not all of the Guvínorís greatest moments were live and I confess Iíve listened encased in catatonic boredom to some of the more interminable excesses unaccountably preserved on disc. Fortunately there is better news to report from this date, which was given circa 1963.

The front line was completed by the young Sammy Rimington and by Geoff Cole. The former exhibits his fluent and effortless George Lewis derived playing, weaving in and through the ensembles with precocious brilliance if not yet much personal stamp. His most characteristically Lewis-like solo comes on Sweet Georgia Brown. Geoff Cole, very slightly under-recorded, proves a thoughtful and supportive and collegiate player, whose perceptive understanding of his role is unburdened by too many solos. Colyer himself plays with fine note placement and generates plenty of drive, not least on the discís title track, Memories. The clipped incisive lead pushes Milneburg Joys ever onwards, enlivened by a brief Cole trombone break, even though I find the rhythm section just a touch leaden here.

When I Leave The World Behind is one of the standout tracks, swinging mightily, with Rimingtonís arabesques weaving breathlessly through the contrapuntal ensemble. St Jamesí Infirmary Blues is a standard but not one that the Colyer band much embraced; the leader takes a muted solo and sings. Whilst this was an unusual selection the rags were very much part of the Colyer band repertoire. The Entertainer may be a rag but here itís ragged - but Kinklets is much better. One of the best examples of Colyerís subtlety can be heard in Yellow Dog Blues, where he also takes a vocal, Rimington stretches out and we can hear one of several of Johnny Bastableís banjo solos.

Swamped though we are with live Colyer material this one has much to offer. Paul Adamsís notes are astute and there is an evocative black and white picture of the band in action at the Richmond jazz festival.

Jonathan Woolf

Swamped though we are with live Colyer material this one has much to offer. ... see Full Review


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