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Bebop Spoken There

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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

CD Review: New Century Ragtime Orchestra - "Singin' in the Bathtub"

Alastair Lord, Graham Hardy (tpts); Don Fairley (tmb); Ed Cross (vln); Jim McBriarty (alt/clt/vcl). Alan Marshall (alt/clt), Gavin Lee, Steve Andrews (ten/clt); Neville Hartley (pno); Phil Rutherford (sousa/tuba); Steve Doyle (dms); Keith Stephen (gtr/bjo); Dave Kerr (ldr/arr); Caroline Irwin (vcl) + Keith Nichols (pno); Nick Ward (dms).
(Review by Lance).
The NCRO are one of the treasures of the north east scene. No bebop spoken here, this music even pre-dates the Lindy Hop! Having said that, there can be few bands anywhere in the world who can recreate the period so well as this ensemble. The soloists, several of whom are frequently heard in more contemporary settings, adjust to the idiom so well you'd be excused for assuming they were wearing spats and two-tone shoes as they drove to the studio in a Studebaker Special Six automobile.
Twenty excellent numbers make it near impossible to single out any one track. I've always loved Red Allen's Patrol Wagon Blues and this version, with vocal by McBriarty and trumpet solo by Hardy, does it justice whilst Jim's megaphone style vocal on Gonna Get a Girl is another one that, in a bygone age, would have had the Flappers flapping! Keith Nichol's piano intro to Ed Cross' theme statement and the solos by McBriarty (clarinet) and Stephen (guitar) on I'll Never be the Same provide more musical imagery.
Talking of Flappers, Caroline Irwin brings the Ruth Etting/Annette Hanshaw era to life with splendid vocals on Guilty, You'd Be Surprised, I Can't Give You Anything But Love and a magnificent I'm Through With Love.
I'm not sure which tracks have Nick Ward on 'traps' but, guessing, I'd say most likely That Teasin' Rag and The Terror.
Dave Kerr is to be congratulated for not only keeping this fine band together but also for editing and adapting most of the arrangements.
The album notes are by Steve Andrews, written, of course, in his inimitable style and in a font size I can actually read (albeit with my specs on!)
For details on purchasing the New Century Ragtime Orchestra's "Singin' in the Bathtub" (Lake Records LACD336) and for information on future gigs visit http://www.ncro.co.uk/#.
Lance.

2 comments :

Lance said...

... and if this is your kind of music then why not spend the next weekend (Nov 7/8/9) at the Mike Durham Classic Jazz Party held at Village Hotel - nr. Shiremoor. Details in rh column - Pages/Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party. Much of the music is from the same era and you will even be able to buy a copy of the CD...

Steve Doyle (on F/b) said...

Thanks Lance, traps were shared 50-50, but yes you correctly identified 2 he played on. Hope your well.

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