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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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KEN COLYER

1966

LAKE LACD285

 

 

  1. Over In The Gloryland
  2. You've Got To See Mama Every Night
  3. Lady Be Good
  4. I Said I Wasn't Going To Tell Nobody
  5. Down Home Rag
  6. Hindustan
  7. Alabama Bound
  8. House Rent Stomp
  9. Struttin' With Some Barbeque
  10. Gatemouth
  11. Make Me A Pallet On The Floor
  12. Ostrich Walk
  13. Runnin' Wild

Ken Colyer (trumpet, vocal, guitar)
Geoff Cole (trombone)
Tony Pyke (clarinet)
John Bastable (banjo)
Bill Cole (bass)
Bryan Hetherington (drums)

 

These were all recorded between 30 September and 13 October 1966 in Germany. The bulk appeared on a Storyville LP but the last four tracks have never previously seen the light of day.

In the main these thirteen tracks enshrine core Colyer material with a good distribution of Gospel, Blues, Skiffle, Rag but also things that didn't stay too long in the repertoire of the band. Talking of which, the 1966 outfit was a decent but not outstanding example of the Colyer muse. In Cole and Pyke it had dependable, occasionally intrepid frontliners, Bastable could always be relied upon to wield an extrovert banjo whilst Bill Cole was a decent bass player. Drummer Bryan Hetherington however is an acquired taste and his over-excitable contributions tend to destabilise things too often for comfort. His playing on Hindustan, for example, is really atrocious.

There are fine shifting patterns on Over In The Gloryland and a good vocal from Colyer, though a disappointing end. Cole is effective throughout, especially on You've Got To See Mama Every Night whilst Pyke is somewhere near his best on Struttin' With Some Barbeque. Skiffle is heard on Alabama Bound and House Rent Stomp and both pieces retain a solid sense of identity and strength.

The unissued performances are not quite as well recorded. Pyke's clarinet is under recorded during ensembles in particular. When they stretch out on a long Blues such as Make Me a Pallet on the Floor the band builds up genuine momentum (albeit hampered by an indifferent Colyer vocal). I was somewhat surprised to see them essaying the ODJB's Ostrich Walk.

There are fortunately no examples of the later Colyer, whose purgatorial tempos were so life sapping. But even so, this release is of archival interest only to Colyer adherents.

Jonathan Woolf



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