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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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PAPA BUE

and his American Friends

STORYVILLE 101 4273

 

 

1. Listen To The Mocking Bird
2. Martha (take 2)
3. In The Sweet Bye And Bye
4. Mama Don't Allow
5. See See Rider
6. St. Louis Blues
7. Struttin' With Some Barbecue
8. Ed's Blues
9. Up The Country Blues
10. Breeze
11. Dark Eyes
12. Sweet Georgia Brown
13. Beale Street Blues
14. Doctor Blues
15. Stack O'Lee Blues
16. I've Found A New Baby
17. Our Monday Date
18. Rosetta
19. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans

Papa Bue's Viking Jazzband with; George Lewis (tracks 1-3); Champion Jack Dupree (tracks 4 and 5); Edmond Hall (tracks 6-8): Wingy Manone (tracks 9-11); Art Hodes (track 12 and 13); Albert Nicholas (tracks 14-16): Wild Bill Davison (tracks 17-19)
Recorded 1959-77, Copenhagen [78:21]

 

Papa Bue and traditional jazz in Scandinavia were pretty much synonymous. Arne `Papa Bue' Jensen (1930-2011) led a fine and versatile band that was flexible enough stylistically to accompany a raft of distinguished American visitors. This disc shows just a little of that versatility in performances recorded between 1959 and 1977. The tracks are arranged chronologically starting with George Lewis and ending with Wild Bill Davison.

Lewis is in reasonably good form, albeit trumpeter Finn Otto Hansen engages in a surfeit of nanny goat vibrato. I couldn't say that Lewis charts any particular heights during his three songs but he plays with wholehearted commitment, though seldom inspiration. Maybe the rather leaden rhythm section had something to do with that. Champion Jack Dupree lends his larynx in his tracks. What a shame he didn't play the piano as well, or instead. Edmond Hall brings out the best of the band. Hansen responds well to the more demanding challenges of Hall vis a vis Lewis and his loping solo is good. Hall is typically fluent and tonally suggestive.

In 1967 one-armed Wingy Manone joined the band for a tour. He plays fine trumpet for his age, reprising his old hit, Up the Country Blues and performing and singing in a rather Louis Prima sort of way - or maybe it's as true to say that Prima played and sang in a Manone sort of way. Art Hodes plays big two fisted blues piano, whilst Albert Nicholas (in 1971) reprises that summit meeting number he recorded with Sidney Bechet, Stack O'Lee Blues and does so with woody tone seemingly untouched by Time. Finally, and characteristically voluble and pugnacious, we have Wild Bill Davison whose Chicagoan credentials hardly needed re-stating.

Full notes with discographies complete the set. Completists will have a field day with the American guests, whose rare participation here will prove enticing.

Jonathan Woolf



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