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.
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 <www.blackeagles.com> one can obtain more information.