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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Out of Nowhere - Maine Street Jazzmen CD Review

Ray Harley (tpt), Herbie Hudson (tmb/hca/vcl), Jim McBriarty (sax/clt), Malcolm Armstrong/Colin Haikney (pno), Alan Rudd (bs), Ian Hetherington/Mike Humble (dms), Olive Rudd (vcls).
They don't come much better than the Maine Street Gang particularly when Ray Harley's on trumpet. This, their latest CD, is a typical example of their boisterous, straight down the middle and on to the Fairway, brand of Dixieland.
Ray's bright round tone gives us an idea of how Harry James would have sounded had he been a Dixielander! He drives the ensembles along and solos with panache and imagination delving into Bixieland for Davenport Blues. Herbie does everything but sweep the floor as he flits from trombone to harmonica to vox humana whilst Jimmy Mack solos in his impeccable slightly distant manner - a pedigree cat amongst a colony of ferals - jazz bands need both breeds.
The rhythm sections function and fire on all cylinders with Malcolm Armstrong playing like he wore a derby hat, braces and smoked a big cigar.
Olive evokes Billie Holiday on I Wished on the Moon, Dreamland and Keeping Out of Mischief now.
A good keepsake for anyone who listens to the band at the various venues these tracks were recorded at.
Full details on the band's website.
Lance.

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