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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Harvey: "The exciting day arrived and we [as under age school boys] snuck into the [pub's] rehearsal room, sat awkwardly to attention on hard chairs in a row facing the band and heard our first - very loud - live jazz. What an occasion that was - we even drank beer because we understood that's what jazz people did and that's what the band were drinking." - (Just Jazz June 2020)

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

CD Review: Ben Crosland Quintet- The Ray Davies Songbook Volume II

Ben Crosland (bass); Dave O'Higgins (tenor/soprano saxes); John Etheridge (guitar); Steve Lodder (piano/keys); Sebastiaan de Krom (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Ray Davies, in my opinion, was every bit the songwriting genius that Lennon and Macca were. Even without the lyrics, the music stands on its own two feet which is more than you can say for many of the Beatles' numbers.

I discovered this after listening to Volume 1 of Ben Crosland's take on the Ray Davies Songbook and, almost three years on, Volume II has reinforced that opinion.

O'Higgins is at his finest on both Bb horns, Etheridge reinforces his position in the top echelon of jazz guitarists goosed along by a rhythm section that's just Dandy! Not all of the tracks are numbers that hit the top twenty, several were B-sides which, in retrospect, had they been given the  same amount of airplay that the A-sides received back in the day when pop fans studied the MM/NME charts as avidly as stockbrokers consulted the Financial Times then some of these gems would have had the recognition they deserved.

They certainly get that here. Think of it as a hardbop blast. Who cares that the songs are not originals written by a Guildhall graduate or standards played at every jam east of Birdland? We may have moved on from the GASbook but in the form of Ray Davies and, as Postmodern Jukebox has proved, there's still plenty of material out there to blow on and these guys certainly do that.

If I say I prefer Volume I to Volume II that's only because I heard the other album first but, trust me, it'a split decision and I really wouldn't want to have one without the other. Is there enough material for another album? I hope so. If not perhaps they could check out The Zombies...

Great!
Lance.

Sittin' on my Sofa; Days; Till the End of the Day; Apeman; Victoria; Celluloid Heroes; I Gotta Move; Lola; Where Have All the Good times Gone?; Dandy.



Available April 12 on Jazz Cat - JCCD117. Launch at 606 Club on April 23.

1 comment :

NeilC said...

Have to say Lance I agree, Ray Davies is one of the finest songwriters we have ever produced. He does not get the credit he is due , I think he is on a par with Lennon and McCartney . I look forward to listening to Ben Crosland's interpretation .

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