The Sonny Dee All Stars
Please Donít Talk About Me When Iím Gone
Mamaís Gone Goodbye
Everybody Loves My Baby
I Cried For You
Blue And Broken-Hearted
I Canít Believe That Youíre In Love With Me
I Want A Little GirL
Glad Rag Doll
Roses Of Picardy
If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight
Ainít She Sweet?
Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me
Laurie Chescoeís Goodtime Jazz
Potato Head Blues
Recorded 1990 except the last three tracks, recorded in 2000
Remembering Ben Cohen Volume 1 was issued on LACD334 and this release
delves deeper into the nether reaches of a cassette recording made in 1990.
In this session, which comprises the bulk of Lakeís disc, the cornet player
leads the Sonny Dee All Stars, formed by drummer Stan Daly who had just
given up long-time membership of Harry Goldís Pieces of Eight. Lake
recorded the All Stars on a cassette so the CD restores a decidedly
limited-availability item to greater reach. Daly was the titular Sonny Dee.
Though he was a disciple of Armstrong, the band ethos here is much
Chicago-to-Dixieland. Cohenís punchy, no-nonsense lead suits the ethos very
well. The strong solos and rich ensembles are vividly done, propelled by
the rhythm sectionís crisp appreciation of their duties. Even in a piece
which Cohen would habitually played in a style more orientated toward
Armstrong, such as the Bocage-Piron tune Mamaís Gone Goodbye,
Cohenís driving inspiration remains Wild Bill Davison, with an admixture of
Jimmy McPartland, and Al Newmanís clarinet makes a suitably strong
impression too. The All Stars were a fine, forceful band with Pete Hodge
majoring on muted trombone and Austin Malcolm proving a deft stylist at the
piano, notably so on I Cried For You.
The gentle melancholia of Blue and Broken-Hearted is taken at a
ballad tempo whereas that standby I Want A Little Girl features
Newmanís tenor sax Ė which is not at all reminiscent of Bud Freeman - and
has a Cohen vocal. In the band book was Spain, a splendid old
number, which receives a fine arrangement, wafting on a springy rhythm.
Though the Davison-Condon axis was something of lodestar for the band they
largely ignore their modelís occasionally interminable Ďgo roundí solos at
the end of numbers. In fact, itís only during At Sundown that the
All Stars especially indulge this tactic, and even here Ė because of its
rarity during the set Ė it actually comes as a pleasant surprise. Meanwhile
Malcolm can stretch out with the rhythm section on Ainít She Sweet?
Thereís a bonus of three tracks featuring Cohen with Laurie Chescoeís
Goodtime Jazz. On the one track in which they duet on cornets Cohen and
Dave Hewett sound not unlike an amalgam of Bunny Berigan and Ziggy Elman.
This trio of pieces is also attractive though beware the tracking, which
has gone awry. Track 15 is Stardust and not Heebie Jeebies.
With admiring notes and good sound quality Ė the tape has come up well -
this is once more recommendable to Cohenís admirers.