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Friday, January 08, 2016

CD Review: Echoes of Swing - Dancing

Colin T. Dawson (tpt/vcl); Chris Hopkins (alt); Bernd Lhorsky (pno/ celeste); Oliver Mewes (dms).
(Review by Lance).
This was one that slipped under the radar last October - if it hadn't then last year's CD faves would have been augmented.
Dawson, at 55, has dropped the title of 'Kid' unlike Ory and co who were 'Kids' up to and beyond the grave! Dawson began his career as an actual kid with bands such as the local Heritage Hall Stompers before  recording with the, then, top UK New Orleans outfit - Sammy Rimington. That his musical horizons have expanded  over the years is no better demonstrated than on this ACT CD.
From South Shields to Germany via New Orleans, with this virtual stopover in Harlem circa 1938.
Raymond Scott, John Kirby, Bechet/Ladnier, Red Allen...
Jazz had moved up the river from Storyville, Chicago, called in at Kansas City and found a niche in NYC. Small group swing. Away from the growing emergence of the big bands and ahead of the boppers - Jazz was still dance music.
Dancing is the theme here and even a three legged stomper like myself finds it difficult not to shake a leg to this disc! However, dancer or listener, this is as good as it gets for those who realise that some of the most lasting jazz occurred twixt two of the bloodiest conflicts known to man (to date). Echoes of Swing bring back the era without sounding dated - play this in any trendy bar and I guess everyone would dance.
Dawson plays trumpet,quite restrained but still effective, sings in a soft seductive manner. It might not be what they go for in Whiteleas Club (South Shields)  but at somewhere like the Cherry Tree, Blaydon Jazz Club, Jazz Coop, Jazz Café or in particular, Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party at Whitley Bay it would be another story... 
The musicians are superb with Hopkins' alto perfectly attuned to Dawson's trumpet whilst Lhorsky and Mewes combine so well that I was half way through the album before I realised there wasn't a bass player!
Originals by Hopkins, Lhorsky and Dawson (Sandancer - a tribute to his home town and the old time music hall act Wilson, Keppel and Betty!) combine with original settings of standards, jazz classics, even JSB's Gavotte1, English Suite No. 6, to give us a potted history of jazz dancing.
Listen to Hipsters Hop.
Lance.
Echoes of Swing - Dancing available on ACT 9103 - 2

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