Saturday, 21 May 2011

Chris Barber - memories of my trip.

For more than 60 years, Chris Barber was one of the giants of the British jazz scene. Without compromising its high music or the accuracy of his trombone playing standards, it has displayed the ability to adapt to the seismic changes in jazz music, winning admiration well beyond these shores. His group has adopted traditional jazz, blues, R & B, skiffle, and gospel, and they are all represented here on this glorious two-CD set.

The title song tells us much about the spirit of this man and his music. It was written by the singer of blues American Brownie McGhee, whose Barber put more America to Europe, at its own expense so that his group can learn more about interpreting the blues musicians rooted in tradition. Upon his return, McGhee wrote this loving song listing the places where they have played, and people they met, so that the United Kingdom and in Europe. As Barber recalled in the book, some names are a problem for writers to Smithsonian Folkways: "they tried to write exactly what he would have sung…." Ottilie (Paterson) was transformed into blues singer, r. b. Patterson! ?

Several tracks here are very rare, compilers often avoiding commercial recordings from the Barber of more distinctive performances. Muddy Waters sings that the Leiber, Stoller Kansas City recorded at the Festival de Jazz de Capital of 1979; and Trummy Young, a legendary trombonist of the Orchestra of Earl Hines of 33-37, leads to the coast of the Georgia on My Mind, recorded during a German tour in 1978. More local singer resident of band Ottilie Patterson performing St. Louis Blues as if it were a wake, adding rough, the atmosphere of recording and Lonnie Donegan, of his choice with My Diggine potatoes. Ottilie is mesmeric again on Lonesome Road, at a session of BBC Jazz Club in 1962.

Other treasures include Joe Darensbourg clarinet for the ballad sweet Rose Room, innovative guitar playing of Rory Gallagher on can't be satisfied, anthem of Jeff Healey Satchmo in Goin 'Up the River, and refreshing Ken Colyer composition Goin' Home with Van Morrison in the song. It is one of the few artists relatively more contemporary, including Andy Fairweather-Low, Eric Clapton, Paul Jones and a supremely relaxed, Mark Knopfler, in a duo with Barber. Each poster fine versatility and easily transmitted their pleasure in playing with this legendary figure.

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