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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



NEW BLACK EAGLE
JAZZ BAND

In New Orleans

Own Label BE[LECD]4001

 

 

1. Papa Dip
2. You're Next
3. The Curse of an Aching Heart
4. Snag It
5. Bugle Boy March
6. Storyville Blues
7. Cataract Rag
8. The Mooche
9. Red Man Blues
10. Cannonball Blues
11. The Entertainer
12. Love Me with a Feeling
13. Snake Rag

Tony Pringle - Cornet, leader
Stan McDonald - Clarinet, soprano sax, vocal (track 12)
Stan Vincent - Trombone
Peter Bullis - Banjo
Bob Pilsbury - Piano
C. H. "Pam" Pameijer - Drums
Eli Newberger - Tuba
 
Recorded at the Southern Athletic Club, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 19, 1974.

 

This is the first in a series of fourteen limited edition CD's, reissuing material by the band that previously appeared on LP's-mainly on their own label but also on a few other small labels, such as Philo, Philips, and Dirty Shame-and on cassette tapes. Some of these cassettes were issued simultaneously with the LP's but also contained additional tracks. Other cassettes with different material were issued in that format only. When the company that produced the cassettes went out of business, the digital masters were returned to the band. These form the basis of most of the material on this CD set.

In 1974 the New Orleans Jazz Club invited the band to perform at the opening event of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival of that year. This was an apt choice since the band has always placed an emphasis on the ensemble work that categorizes the New Orleans style. While there, the band managed to squeeze in the recording session presented here, and it was initially issued on an LP, which was the band's third. This CD reprises that LP and contains two additional tracks-Bugle Boy March and The Entertainer-that were not issued originally.

The tune list indicates the kind of repertoire the band had, with quite a few less familiar numbers and several that almost all traditional jazz lovers will recognize. Space permits only a few comments on some of these. Among the more familiar tunes, Snag It is largely Pringle's vehicle, as it was King Oliver's. Bugle Boy March, sometimes called American Soldier, provides some nice variety as it is played in two/four time all through just as a march is. The well-known Snake Rag is given a new lease on life, being taken at a spritely tempo with everyone getting in on the many breaks, and the tuba playing a fast four-beat-to-the-measure, thanks to Newberger's mastery of circular breathing.

The Entertainer, not particularly well-known prior to the advent of the movie The Sting, is not rendered as a piano solo but is given the full band treatment, the same being true of the other rag-and a lesser known one at that-Cataract Rag. Another tune few bands play is Red Man Blues, one that I recall as being a challenge for clarinet players who must play a counter rhythm to the rest of the group for the second eight measures of the A strain following the cornet lead of the first eight measures, the A strain being repeated and then returned to two times at the end after the minor B strain.

Another seldom-heard number is Cannonball Blues, which, as the liner notes tell us, "is based upon the [Jelly Roll] Morton arrangement with regard to key changes" but the solos are all improvised by the several musicians. Lastly, Ellington's The Mooche, which few bands attempt, is faithful to the original arrangement, despite the band's being about half the size of the Ellington aggregation. It provides ample opportunities for individual expression in the solos and displays the fine discipline that the band attains.

This CD provides almost an hour of pure pleasure, a cornucopia of New Orleans-style jazz. At the band's web site, www.blackeagles.com, one can obtain more information.

Bert Thompson



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