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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove



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CLEO LAINE & JOHN DANKWORTH

Three Early LPs and More

Avid Jazz AMSC 928

 

 



CD1: Cleo Laine

1. I’ll Remember April
2. April Age
3. April in Paris
4. I Dedicate April
5. The Lady Sings the Blues
6. Mean to Me
7. Mood Indigo
8. I’ll Get By
9. My One and Only Love
10. Stormy Weather
11. Love is Here to Stay
12. Early Autumn
13. St Louis Blues
14. T’ain’t What You Do
15. Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe
16. Hit The Road to Dreamland
Dankworth Band

17. Experiments with Mice
18. Applecake
19. All Clare
20. Melbourne Marathon
21. Duke’s Joke
22. Coquette
23. Big Jazz Story
24. Firth of Fourths
25. Deep Purple
CD2: John Dankworth Band

1. Adios
2. Jersey Bounce
3. Take the "A" Train
4. Explanation of Itinerary of an Orchestra
5. Itinerary of an Orchestra
6. Export Blues
7. Somerset Morn
8. Just A-Sittin' and A-Rockin’
9. One for Janet
10. Somebody Loves Me
11. Hullabaloo
12. Horoscope
13. Stompin’ at the Savoy
14. Magenta Midget
15. Limehouse Blues
16. Up The Poll
17. Quick Return
 

I was pleased to receive this CD, because in my youth the Johnny Dankworth Band, as it was then, was my favourite. Ted Heath also had a superb band at this time, but I always felt that the Dankworth Band was more of a ‘Jazzers’ band. Its soloists were always prepared to take a chance, in order to show just what they could do. Dave Lindup produced some great arrangements which gave the band a cohesive style. 

I also have always been a great admirer of the talents of Cleo Laine, surely the best jazz singer the UK has produced. Whilst her performances on CD1 are easily recognisable as her work, her singing here was only a fraction of the capability she developed in the years that followed. The recordings of the tracks here were not of the highest quality and do not always do her justice, however it is still Cleo and therefore well worth listening to. 

The band does not sound at all dated and the jazz solos by the likes of John himself, Pete Warner on tenor (later Danny Moss), Dave Lee on piano, Dickie Hawdon on trumpet and the effervescent Kenny Clare swinging the band from the drums are all first class. 

The last two tracks are all-star bands of Melody Maker Poll Winners, dating to the days (1952) when that publication cared about real music. 

If you were a Dankworth Band fan at the time, enjoy this reminder of just how pleasing the band was. If you weren’t around, or missed it at the time, buy this double CD to see what you missed! 

Don Mather

 

 

 



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