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Friday, March 29, 2019

CD Review: Tenement Jazz Band - New Orleans Wiggle

Charles Dearness (trumpet); Paddy Darley (trombone); Tom Pickles (clarinet); John Youngs (guitar); Mike Kearney (banjo, vocals); Simon Toner (double bass)
(Review by Russell) 

Put this one in the CD player, put it on repeat play and it'll be there for days on end. The Tenement Jazz Band's debut recording is, without question, CD of the month and a serious contender for CD of the year! The Edinburgh-based six-piece band formed about fifteen months ago and a matter of months later recorded this - New Orleans Wiggle - their first album.  

Eight tracks with a total running time of just short of half an hour make the 'product' more EP than CD but don't be deterred, the ensemble playing and arrangements are top drawer. The collective sound is one of a group of friends improvising to their hearts' content - it must have been like this in the Crescent City a century ago! 


The opening number - Bogalusa Strut - includes an ensemble vocal chorus otherwise it's instrumentals all the way with one glorious exception. The exception being Mike Kearney's superb vocals on Whenever You're Lonesome. Kearney's assured vocals accompanied by his banjo playing open the number followed by Charles Dearness' trumpet and Tom Pickles' clarinet contributions before our vocalist pitches in once again - simply sublime! It is worth acquiring the album for this track alone.  

Cushion Foot Stomp, a stompin' Big Chief Battle Axe and, finally, a joyous Mahogany Hall Stomp leave the listener in no doubt, the Tenement Jazz Band's second - full length! - CD can't come soon enough! 

This Chambers Street Collective album - New Orleans Wiggle by The Tenement Jazz Band was recorded at Berwick's Maltings Theatre and Cinema in June 2018. To obtain a copy email: tenementjazzband@gmail.com

Russell 

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