1. Sheik of Araby
2. Beautiful Dreamer
3. If Dreams Come True
4. It’s Time You Learnt
5. Until the Real Thing Comes Along
6. Ice Cream
7. I Can Make Believe
8. I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm
9. Love Walked In
10. Did You Mean It?
11. Some Sunny Day
12. Faraway Blues
13. Breezin’ Along with the Breeze
14. When Lights Are Low
15. San Jacinto Stomp
16. Old Spinning Wheel
Geoff Cole – Trombone, vocal (track 10)
Tony Pyke – Reeds
Hugh Crozier – Piano, vocal (track 5)
Graham Wiseman – String bass
Dipper Duddy – Drums
Recorded Riverside Arts Studio, Lower Sunbury, England, on Sept. 6, 2001.
Seeing that this group is led by trombonist Geoff Cole and also has Tony
Pyke on clarinet might prompt one to think of the early 1960s front line of
the Ken Colyer Jazzmen, of which they were two thirds for a good number of
years. However, this combo is not in that mold—at least not the “moldy fig”
variety! But it gives a very enjoyable jazz treatment to the tunes in the
playlist, all its members being very fine musicians, and it is good to have
the CD available again.
Although there is no trumpet or cornet in the front line, such an omission
is hardly noticeable as the trombone and clarinet deftly trade the lead in
ensembles and along with the piano share solos. Such a configuration is not
unknown in traditional jazz, of course—witness George Lewis’ Eclipse Alley
Five, for example.
Other than the bass’s taking the bridge on the out-chorus of Some Sunny Day, and the drums’ taking tags on a couple of tunes,
the bridge on When Lights Are Low, and a full chorus on The Old Spinning Wheel, bass and drums stick to the task of
supporting the others without being prominent.
It is safe to say that all of the tracks swing to one degree or another. Of
them all my favorite has to be Beautiful Dreamer. It so nicely
illustrates the interplay of the two front liners, the counter melodies
they each engage in, and the jumping in of the piano to relieve them of the
lead, the rest of the rhythm section providing solid, tangible support all
through. It is a mini masterpiece that swings gently.
Most of the tracks will be well-known to most people (other than the two
tunes which are Cole compositions: It’s Time You Learnt and I Can Make Believe) although the interpretations of these may not
be what one is accustomed to hearing. Thus Ice Cream is not the
Jim Robinson version, although it does contain a nod or two in his
direction by including a couple of his trombone licks. And Far Away Blues contains some beautiful, intricate interplay
between the trombone lead and clarinet counter melody, continuing as they
switch the lead.
This CD provides a most pleasing seventy minutes of laid back jazz. Those
who already have it might want to dig it out again and play it once more;
those who don’t have it might want to remedy that deficiency!
Jazz Crusade CDs are available on the Upbeat web site www.upbeat.co.uk
as well as from on-line sites such as Amazon.