Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Time flies and it has past the time for a few words about Hedsor and Jazz. 

So, OK this is LATE!

The Good News is that you haven’t missed anything. The Clive Burton Quintet WILL be appearing at The Hedsor Social Club, as usual, tomorrow evening. The music starts at 8.30 pm, and we will still let you in for just £6. Those of you who have been before will realize that there is a small (voluntary) sum to be contributed before we let you out!!

CD Review

I haven’t written anything about Jazz on CD for a longish time, so lets catch up on a wonderful box set released in 2001!!

OK I know I’m quick of the mark, but sometimes nostalgia drags you back to things of yore!

The yore is of times further ago than 2001 too. Proper Box 24 is a 4 CD set of Louis Armstrong recordings from the 1940’s. It is a gem. The booklet on the early life of Louis is almost worth the cost of the box itself, it is so informative and well done with lots of photos, but the deep joy must be reserved for the music itself. It is all presented in date order, ending up with the 2 concerts that went on to launch The Louis Armstrong’s All-stars, the only medium he used for touring and his music ever after. The Louis Armstrong All-Stars became the USA’s musical ambassadors to the world.

One or two things to highlight. Most of the material is Louis with an orchestra, generally showing his ability as a soloist, the orchestra largely not having in it anyone who could outshine Louis!

In 1946 he recorded some small group tunes again, some even under the heading of Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven! It is very interesting to hear the “prequel” to the All-Stars this early. On some tracks the trombone is played by Vic Dickenson, whilst on others it is actually Kid Ory!!

He remained the leader of a big band, and it is interesting to note that buried in some 1946 recordings is tenor sax player Lucky Thomson, a wonderful star of early bop, who sadly did not live up to his nickname.

Come 1947 and the famous New York Town Hall concert is represented (I think all that is available is here). Louis was still touring with his orchestra at the time, and the ensemble (Jack Teagarden, Peanuts Hucko, Dick Cary, Bob Haggart and Sid Catlet) were brought together by Bobby Hackett and rehearsed by him for the big man to be able to just fly in and play the night!! He can clearly be heard, but sadly, the sleeve notes give him no credit!!

The recordings are generally very listenable to and it is a purchase well worth making. It is still listed on Amazon at £13.73!!

Whatever else you do (think of the scope!!) don't let Live Jazz die. It, and the musicians who play it, need an audience, that's YOU!!

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