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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



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TRAD JAZZ

Collector's Album

ALTO ALN 1943

 

 

1. Midnight in Moscow - Kenny Ball

2. Summer Set - Acker Bilk

3. Petite Fleur - Chris Barber

4. Isle of Capri - Ken Colyer's Jazzmen

5. Beale Street Blues - Humphrey Lyttleton

6. New St. Louis Blues - Chris Barber with Ottilie Patterson

7. True Love - Terry Lightfoot

8. March of the Siamese Children - Kenny Ball

9. That's My Home - Acker Bilk

10. Peter and the Wolf - Clyde Valley Stompers

11. Tavern in the Town - Terry Lightfoot

12. Green Leaves of Summer - Kenny Ball

13. Creole Jazz - Acker Bilk

14. Stockyard Strut - Ken Colyer's Jazzmen

15. Revival - Chris Barber

16. Samantha - Kenny Ball

17. Pasadena - Temperance Seven

18. Billy Boy - Dick Charlesworth

19. So Do I - Kenny Ball

20. Gotta See Baby Tonight - Acker Bilk

21. King Kong - Terry Lightfoot

22. Tansy - Alex Welsh

23. Come Along Please - Bob Wallis

24. Too Busy - Ken Colyer's Jazzmen

25. Down By the Riverside - Chris Barber with Ottilie Patterson

ALTO ALN 1943 [70:15]

 

It’s Trad, Dad. There are twenty-five largely tried and trusted dustings down of the righteous British-based genre in this low-priced Alto disc. It lasts a goodly 70 minutes, but it’s not for the connoisseur, obviously. The kernel is the triumvirate of Ball, Barber and Bilk with an admixture of the Guv’nor, Ken Colyer, the Marxist to Barber’s consensus Liberal. The expected vistas are provided – Capri, Moscow, New Orleans, Pasadena, Beale Street – and the parameters are slightly widened for the British Territory Band maestri Bob Wallis, and the Clyde Valley Stompers. And so forth. You will find no discography and no personnels and no dates of recording. The notes are bright and breezy, much like the music.

Anything else to note? Maybe that not all the selected tracks are so obvious. It was interesting to choose Acker Bilk’s Summer Set, for example, as it’s not such a well-known one. Humph’s Beale Street Blues – no, not Bad Penny – is live and also not a dead-set for inclusion I’d have thought. Acker seems to have been deep into a Boogie ‘n’ Louis Prima shuffle rhythm kick when a couple of his tracks were recorded but it’s good deal better than the weirdo contribution from the Clyde Valley mob. They turn up with a two-minute jazzed-up version of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. Fellers, really. And not a great calling card for an otherwise good band.

The Temperance Seven are here with Pasadena, a cult classic but Dick Charlesworth and his gents show the frenetic and jack-hammered side of the music all too well, or badly, in their contribution. It’s unusual to hear that pretty song Tansy, a clarinet feature for the Alex Welsh band. Forgive Bob Wallis’s brash Come Along Please. In the studio his band was a bit of a trial, but in a club it had a far broader palette and was more itself.

But this is a compilation that paints with a fairly broad brush. If you’re yet to encounter Trad, some of this will make you blanch. But maybe something will hold your attention.

Jonathan Woolf



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