Monday, May 09, 2011
A 10 inch LP on the Pye Nixa label from 1956 I bought at a boot sale this weekend for 50p. Its slightly scratched and the sleeve shows signs of smoke damage and wear.
Line-up is Chris Barber ( trombone ), Pat Halcox ( trumpet ), Monty Sunshine ( clarinet ), Lonnie Donegan ( banjo ), Ron Bowden ( drums ) and Mick Ashman ( bass ).
Wikipedia says -
"Barber played trombone with Ken Colyer in 1949 and began leading his own bands in which he played trombone and double bass in 1950. Barber helped to create the careers of many diverse musicians, most notably the blues singer Ottilie Patterson, who was at one time Mrs Barber. Others include vocalist and banjo player Lonnie Donegan who rose to his own fame during the skiffle music craze of the mid 1950s. He had his first transatlantic hit during his time in Chris Barber's band with the release of "Rock Island Line".
In addition to Donegan, Barber also featured Pat Halcox on trumpet from 1954 onwards, once Ken Colyer had moved on after a difference of opinion as to the way the band should develop. The band formed in 1953 took Colyer's name as they thought that his recent spell in New Orleans would be an attraction, with Monty Sunshine on clarinet, Donegan, Jim Bray (bass), Ron Bowden (drums) and Barber on trombone. In April, 1953, the band made its public debut in Copenhagen where Chris Albertson recorded several sides for the then new Danish Storyville label, including some with a trio from the band, Sunshine, Donegan and Barber (on bass). Later, back in London, Sunshine and Barber recorded a version of Bechet's "Petite Fleur" that made it to #3 in the UK Singles Chart, spending a total of twenty-four weeks therein. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. Although the Barber band featured traditional jazz in the New Orleans style, it later also engaged in ragtime, swing, blues and R&B and worked with other artists including Louis Jordan and Dr. John. After 1959 he toured the United States many times.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Barber was mainly responsible for arranging the first UK tours of seminal blues artists such as Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and Muddy Waters. This, along with encouragement from local enthusiasts such as Alexis Korner and John Mayall, sparked the interest of young local prospective musicians such as Peter Green, Eric Clapton and the members of the The Rolling Stones in the blues, and caused the British blues explosion that in turn resulted in the British invasion exported back to the US in the middle to late 1960s. In January 1963, the British music magazine, NME reported that the biggest trad jazz event to be staged in Britain had taken place at Alexandra Palace. The event included George Melly, Diz Disley, Acker Bilk, Alex Welsh, Kenny Ball, Ken Colyer, Sunshine, Bob Wallis, Bruce Turner, Mick Mulligan and Barber."
Side One -
1. Whistlin' Rufus
2. Big House Blues
3. April Showers
Side Two -
1. One Sweet Letter From You
3. We Shall Walk Throuhg The Valley
Chris Barber - Side One
Chris Barber - Side Two