The Old Country
On a Slow Goat Through China
Das Wrack der Guten Hoffnung
The Fiji Hula Bula
Where or When
On a Turquoise Cloud
Cabin in the Sky
Gan Hyem [Going Home]
Disorder at the Border
Colin T Dawson (trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, vocals): Chris Hopkins (alto
saxophone): Bernd Lhotzky (piano, celesta): Oliver Mewes (drums)
Recorded September 2017, Tonstudio Weinberg der Landesmusikdirektion,
Echoes of Swing have been releasing a delectable series of discs of late.
Dancing, Blue Pepper and A Tribute to Bix Beiderbecke have all shown the
stylistic versatility of this classy chamber foursome, a two-man front-line
supported by piano and drums in emulation of Big Fours throughout jazz
history. There’s a geographical theme at work, programmatically speaking,
and originals snuggle up attractively to established classics of the canon
in a way that allows the fifteen tracks to cohere very nicely indeed.
There’s not a dud to be heard here.
gets the disc underway, a locomotive tone poem complete with jump style
solos and arrangement, with composer Chris Hopkins wailing Hodges or Willie
Smith-style over the pulsing, galvanizing rhythms. It’s a risk to disinter Volare but with Bernd Lhotzky’s Teddy Wilsonesque piano runs and
some shuffle percussion from Oliver Mewes, things are in the safest of Good
Time hands. Brass man Colin T Dawson sings pleasantly on Nat Adderley’s The Old Country and Hopkins, American-born but a German resident
since childhood, rips into the Pete Brown alto hymn sheet for a blistering
contribution (Hopkins is also a top-class pianist but leaves these duties
to Lhotzky). Dawson plays with rich-toned Braff-like warmth on Hopkins’s
wackily titled On a Slow Goat Through China (the goat was probably
less comfortable than the boat) and there’s real joie de vivre in the
chases between alto and muted trumpet on Das Wrack der Guten Hoffnung where Dawson’s wa-wa mute work is
splendid. This really is one of those biggest little bands in the land,
generating real heat to sound far bigger than a four piece.
Dawson plays eloquent flugelhorn on the Ellington-Lawrence Brown ballad On a Turquoise Cloud and there’s a nice contrapuntal start to
Vernon Duke’s Cabin in the Sky. Indeed, there are felicities – in
soloing, in arrangements – throughout the album, not least Lhotzky’s Stride
piano on Gan Hyem, the Jungle trumpet so evocative of the Cotton
Club in Bechet’s Southern Sunset and the jazzing of Schubert’s Wohin? courtesy of Lhotzky.
Splendidly recorded, stylishly and passionately performed, this is another
winner from a group that both honours the past and brings it vividly to