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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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ROGER BEAUJOLAIS QUINTET

Blue Reflections

Stay Tuned ST 007

 



 
1. Soul Station
2. Sugar
3. Lazy Days
4. T Bone's Take
5. Some Blues
6. Green Jeans
7. Chitlins Con Carne
8. For Those Who Dream
9. Full Monty
10. Midnight Voyage
11. Admission Impossible
 
Roger Beaujolais - Vibes
Mark Lockheart - Tenor sax (tracks 2, 3, 8, 9, 10)
Robin Aspland - PIano (tracks 1-6, 8-11)
Simon Thorpe - Double bass (tracks 1, 5, 6, 7, 11)
Orlando LeFleming - Double bass (tracks 2-4, 8-10)
Winston Clifford - Drums

Having been very impressed by hearing Roger Beaujolais recently (admittedly with a different group), I am wondering why I don't feel more enthusiastic about this CD. There are several possible reasons. This album lacks the spark I experienced from hearing Roger in concert. Or perhaps it's the concept of the album, which is centred around the blues (hence the album title). This should make the music gutsy and earthy but instead much of the album is reminiscent of some of those Blue Note blowing sessions which often seemed characterless. Even Kenny Burrell's Chitlins Con Carne doesn't provide as much stimulation as it should.

The musicians are fine, although their playing tends to be rather low-key. By contrast, Winston Clifford's drumming is sometimes a bit too busy and intrusive. The generally low-key approach suits a ballad like For Those Who Dream but it is ill-suited to a predominantly bluesy album, where five of the tunes are by the likes of Hank Mobley and Stanley Turrentine. The other six tracks are originals by Beaujolais. On only three of these (Some Blues, Full Monty and Admission Impossible) do the musicians let their hair down and get funky.

It's a bit of a mystery why this album isn't more successful, as the players are all experienced and technically adept. And it's a pity, because I wanted to like it more than I do.

Tony Augarde

 

 

 

 



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