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



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HOT FINGERS

In Glorious Mono

LAKE LACD 311

 

 

  1. Swing Gitane
  2. Change Partners 
  3. Nagasaki 
  4. Sweet And Low Down 
  5. Mysterieuse 
  6. Hang On To Me 
  7. Them There Eyes 
  8. Can't Help Lovin' That Man Of Mine 
  9. Tico Tico 
  10. Hard Hearted hannah 
  11. Hittin' The Bottle 
  12. La Foule 
  13. Skirts 
  14. Been Treated Wrong 
  15. Let Yourself Go 
  16. Grieg's Norwegian Dance (Op35 No.2) 
  17. In A Persian Market 
  18. South American Joe 
  19. La Vie En Rose 
  20. Old Man Of The Mountains 
  21. Shakin' The Blues Away 
  22. Golden Earrings 
  23. Oh, Marie 
Spats Langham (banjo, guitar, ukulele, vocals); Danny Blyth (guitar, mandolin, clarinet, bass clarinet, harmonica); Malcolm Sked (double bass, tuba); Emily Campbell (vocals, triangle)
Recorded in mono as part of The 1930s Jazz Recording Project [67:28]

 

This interesting album was recorded in mono, in a (successful and enjoyable) attempt to recreate a 1930s recording session. Lake has done this before, and they will do it again. The resultant sound is warmth and lifelike. Don't be at all put off.

The programme is an ingenious mix of Gitane, Ukelele Ike, novelty and Nostalgia with some Hot Dance thrown into the mix. The band evokes the Quintet of the Hot Club of France in several numbers; Spats Langham is a stickler for meaty Django chording as well as those brilliant single note runs of which he was such a master. Given the band is heavy on multi instrumentalists, the timbral combinations and potential permutations are many and varied, and we can hear just that throughout, as they take up and put down a raft of instruments.

Singer Emily Campbell is a charmer with a fresh, clear and pure voice and a fine command of the genres. She takes an especially lovely vocal on Sweet And Low Down which is a bit redolent of Annette Hanshaw, and evokes the love-lorn romance of Can't Help Lovin' That Man Of Mine adeptly. She has a French outing or two, where Piaf's ghost appears. This band does ebullience very well - sample Tico Tico - and summons up the illustrious Pasadenas in Hard Hearted Hannah, with bass clarinet burbling away in backing and solo.

Travelling far and wide stylistically there is a Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee moment on Been Treated Wrong, a Louis Prima one on Oh, Marie! and a far flung geographical trio - Norway, Persia and South America - which edges close to Light Music cum Novelty land. And, finally, I don't think I've ever heard Old Man Of The Mountains since last playing my Decca of Al Bowlly with Lew Stone. It's good!

I enjoyed this engaging, sometimes quixotic album. I noticed, finally, that the sleeve note writer deigns to pass comment on that naughty song, Skirts.

Jonathan Woolf



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