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

New Black Eagle Jazz Band

The 1987 Treebeek Concert




1. At a Georgia Camp Meeting

2. Alligator Crawl

3. Ory’s Creole Trombone

4. Noel’s Song

5. Should I Reveal

6. Harlem Fuss

7. Lead Me Saviour

8. Memories of You

9. Haarlem Bound

10. Someday Sweetheart

11. Put ’em Down Blues

12. Purple Rose of Cairo


Recorded at The Casino, Treebeek, Holland, on October 30, 1987.

Tony Pringle – Cornet and leader

Billy Novick – Clarinet, soprano sax, and alto sax

Stan Vincent – Trombone

Bob Pilsbury – Piano

Peter Bullis – Banjo and manager

C. H. “Pam” Pameijer – Drums

Eli Newberger – Tuba


This is the sixth 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.

The first four tracks on this CD initially comprised one side of an LP (Feel the Jazz, vol. 22, RCS 598) issued jointly with the Circus Square Jazz Band, the latter supplying the other side. Then eight additional tracks were added to these four by the New Black Eagles and issued as a tape cassette, and these twelve tracks in turn make up this CD.

Up first is At a Georgia Camp Meeting, a jaunty cakewalk by Kerry Mills, and it ends with a comparative rarity for the band—a four-bar drum tag by Pameijer, and a very tasty one at that with no explosions or cymbal crashes. Following that is Waller’s Alligator Crawl, which I cannot recall having heard done by a band other than the Bay City Jazz Band (later in 2003), as opposed to the more usual piano solo. Taken here at a sensible tempo, it comes off very well, consisting mainly of solos leading up to a half-time ensemble coda. The third track, Ory’s Creole Trombone, is not just a trombone feature as might be expected but is spread around the front line for the lead and handled quite deftly by all. Noel’s Song, a Pringle original, is a mournful 32-bar blues, memorializing the late trombonist of the Circus Square Jazz Band and good friend of the New Black Eagles who was killed in a car crash the previous year.

The tempo is picked up on Should I Reveal. Once again Newberger’s breathing technique is nothing short of astonishing and coupled with the group’s careful attention to dynamics results in a fine interpretation. The up tempo is carried on in the next track, Harlem Fuss (often misnamed Minor Drag), Pilsbury’s solo being followed by muted solos by Pringle and Vincent. Newberger’s backing is again something to marvel at. The hymn which follows, Lead Me Saviour is given a thoughtful interpretation, being for the most part played by the ensemble. After a brief piano introduction by Pilsbury, Newberger on tuba takes over and, accompanied by piano with Pameijer’s brushwork in the background, explores almost the entire range of his instrument.

Harlem Bound is nicely framed by the front line plus tuba, the close coming almost as a surprise. In between, of course, there is some fine ensemble work. The ensuing track, Someday Sweetheart, is taken at a very slow tempo, featuring tuba accompanied by Bullis on banjo after the intro before the ensemble again takes over, thus providing a nice contrast of textures. At a little over nine minutes, the perky Put ‘em Down Blues is the longest track on the album. It is not a tune in many bands’ repertoires. While the Eagles give it a good reading, including a nice chorus with a cornet and banjo duo by itself, I can’t say I was particularly taken with the tune itself. Wrapping things up is the band’s usual “sign-off’ song, Purple Rose of Cairo, Pringle acknowledging each player in turn.

This is another album that is well worth having, and I would imagine most New Black Eagles fans will want to get it if they haven’t already done so. At the band’s web site <> one can obtain more information.

Bert Thompson

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