- Royal Garden Blues
- Dr Jazz
- Beale St. Blues
- A Bientôt
- If I Had A Talking Picture Of You
- Double Check Stomp
- That Da Da Strain
- Four Or Five Times
- Who Walks In When I Walk Out
- Blue And Broken Hearted
- Dans Les Rues D'Antibes
- Water From An Ancient Well
Jim Fryer (trombone, vocals)
Jeff Barnhart (piano, vocals)
George Huxley (clarinet, soprano and alto saxophones)
Gordon Whitworth (trumpet)
Brian Mellor (banjo, guitar, vocal)
Annie Hawkins (bass)
Nick Ward (drums)
rec. May 2009 at Carnegie Theatre and Arts Centre, Workington, Cumbria
and May 2000, The Theatre By The lake, Keswick (Water From An Ancient
It’s good to see that Lake has recorded another set by the band led
by those two fine Americans, Jim Fryer and Jeff Barnhart. Once again
Cumbria was the locale and a familiar group was assembled to mesh
tightly together and run through a tried and tested repertoire.
One can always rely on a good swing from this group, an element established
from the start with Royal Garden Blues which features solid
all-round soloing. We get a pretty faithful arrangement of
Dr Jazz, with Annie Hawkins’s staunch bass work to the fore
and Barnhart’s vocal straddling the Jelly-Roll and Fats divide rather
nicely. Tempo variation is always a good thing to bring to the mix,
and the Beale Street Blues certainly qualifies, being taken
at a jaunty up-tempo and graced by a nonchalant trombone solo, a good
soprano sax entree and a Walleresque piano solo.
A Bientôt is a close cousin of Petite Fleur, a clarinet
feature here flecked with a soupcon of Gallic tristesse. Barnhart’s
piano solo here is a little reminiscent of the quasi-classical things
that Fred Hunt used to do with Alex Welsh, and it’s equally attractive.
I like the varied routines the band comes up with – the passage for
trombone over piano, for instance, in That Da Da Strian and
the way textures are resourcefully used, so that even standards don’t
pall. Gordon Whitworth’s trumpet solo on this number really bites
by the way.
Whitworth also takes a nice muted solo on Shine – though the
Them There Eyes quote was not a good idea because it seems
to infect the band (though it was probably a planned routine). Four
or Five Times is taken at a relaxed tempo and the trio that ends
the line-up consists of less well known songs. Whitworth plays from
the Wild Bill Davison trumpet hymn sheet on Blue and Broken Hearted.
The last song is a jaunty Bechet swinger. There’s also a bonus
track recorded back in 2000, which sits at a tangent really from the
programme. Fryer and Barnhart are alone here and they’ve supped from
the well of Dollar Brand or Abdullah Ibrahim on this lovely song.
A most enjoyable set then, as ever splendidly recorded.