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DVD REVIEW

PASADENA ROOF ORCHESTRA

Live in London -
40th
Anniversary Concert

PASSADENA RECORDS DVD DVDPRO 2

 

 

  1. Gifford Casa Loma Stomp
  2. Gaines/Williams I Can't Dance
  3. Leslie/Gilbert Me and Jane in a Plane
  4. Murray/Goodhart/Hoffman Happy Go Lucky You (And Broken Hearted Me)
  5. Sissle Polka Dot Rag
  6. Warren/Dubin About A Quarter To Nine
  7. Mayerl Marigold (piano solo)
  8. Donaldson There's A Wah-Wah Gal in Agua Coliente
  9. Reser Air Brakes (banjo solo)
  10. Ellington/Miley Black and Tan Fantasy
  11. Yellen/Ager Happy Feet
  12. Handy St. Louis Blues
  13. Ellington Jungle Nights in Harlem
  14. Cohn/Silver Yes! We Have No Bananas
  15. Ahlert/Crosby/Turk Where the Blue of the Night (Meets the Gold of the Day)
  16. Green/Stept That's My Weakness Now
  17. Williams/Williams Royal Garden Blues
  18. Barris/Moll Bluebirds And Blackbirds
  19. Duke/Gershwin I Can't Get Started
  20. Erdman/Kahn/Meyers/Schoebel Nobody's Sweetheart
  21. La Rocca/De Costa/Edwards/Ragas/Sbarbaro/Shields Tiger Rag
  22. Woods Side By Side
  23. Clarke/Leslie/Warren Home in Pasadena

Duncan Galloway (orchestra leader and vocalist) with Dave Ford (trumpet)
Mally Baxter (trumpet)
Andy Hillier (trombone and vocal trio)
Robert Fowler (alto and baritone sax, clarinet)
Dai Pritchard (alto and soprano sax, clarinet)
Olly Wilby (tenor sax, clarinet)
Simon Townley (piano and vocal trio)
Graham Roberts (guitar and banjo)
Dave Berry (double bass and sousaphone)
John Watson (drums).

rec. live, Cadogan Hall, London, 20 May 2010
Plus documentary: Roots of Swing [15:00]

 

John Arthy, the Passadena Roof Orchestra's founder and former bandleader, is featured on this album's entertaining documentary. He tells the story of how the band was formed. Arthy had obtained a huge collection of sheet music of original 1920s/30s dance band arrangements from a Manchester widow. To play it, Arthy formed the Passadena Roof Orchestra in 1969. Its first rehearsal was held on Monday 3 November 1969 at his family's disused underground bakery in Forest Gate, East London. It was the beginning of a legend. The Orchestra went on to perform with great success in the UK and Europe - it was especially popular in Germany - and made more than forty recordings and was featured on soundtracks. Their first LP in 1974 became a best seller. Arthy here makes a guest appearance with the Orchestra.

The Orchestra today comprises the men listed in the heading above. Their rendering of the numbers is bright and breezy, often comical and always in the spirit of the original performances back in the mad glad, gay (in the old fashioned meaning of that word) jazz era just after the Great War. Duncan Galloway the vocalist and leader is urbane, debonair sophistication personified - his numbers delivered with aplomb. Often he is accompanied - or hindered - by the band. Andy Hillier, for example, in airman's helmet, scarf and goggles rushes around blowing his trombone in very effective spoofing of an aeroplane's drone during Me and Jane in a Plane. The players are individually spotlighted; some given solos like singer and pianist Simon Townley who plays Billy Mayerl's Marigold and Graham Roberts who plucks his way through the banjo solo Air Brakes.

A glorious celebration! A cool, cool collection of scintillating swing and jazz from the flapping, toe-tapping 1920s and 1930s.

Ian Lace



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