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Various Artists: It's Trad, Dad

Track List

>Midnight in Moscow - Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen
>Way Down Yonder in New Orleans - George Melly
>Now You Has Jazz - Terry Lightfoot
>Mama Don't Allow It
>Stranger on the Shore - Acker Bilk
>March of the Siamese Children - Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen
>Battle Hymn of the Republic - Ian Menzies
>Chinatown, My Chinatown - Sandy Brown
>Petite Fleur - Monty Sunshine
>My Bucket's Got a Hole in It - Terry Lightfoot Jazzmen
>Marching Through Georgia - Acker Bilk & His Paramount Jazz Band
>When It's Sleepytime Down South - Bob Wallis & His Storeyville Jazzmen
>(I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My) Sister Kate - George Melly
>I'm Shy, Mary Ellen, I'm Shy - Bob Wallis & His Storeyville Jazzmen
>Green Leaves of Summer - Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen
>Five Foot Two Eyes of Blue - Ian Menzies
>Sweet Georgia Brown - Acker Bilk
>Whistlin' Rufus
>Fan Dance Fanny - Clinton Ford
>When the Saint's Go Marching In

Album Notes

Personnel: George Melly, Ottilie Patterson (vocals); Ray James, Jay Hawkins (banjo); Acker Bilk, Monty Sunshine, Sandy Brown (clarinet); Al Fairweather , Kenneth Sims, Kenny Ball (trumpet); Chris Barber , John Bennett , George Chisholm, John Mortimer (trombone); Ron Bowden, Ron McKay (drums).

Liner Note Author: Gerald Mahlowe.

Arrangers: Acker Bilk; Kenny Ball; Terry Lightfoot.

It's Trad Dad! compiles 20 songs that document the strange British trad jazz scene of the late '50s and early '60s. For some strange reason, the sounds of jazz as played by the originators from New Orleans were a huge deal and scads of trad jazz groups flooded Britain. The most famous of the lot was Acker Bilk, who had a big hit in 1962 with the smooth instrumental "Stranger on the Shore." (The 1962 version of that song is sadly not included on It's Trad Dad!; instead, a smarmy version with strings from 1972 is included.) Others like Chris Barber and Kenny Ball made some noise too. At its best that's what the trad jazz revival was all about, some cats getting together to make some joyful noise and not caring about anything but swinging. Odds are that hearing most of these songs in crowded clubs while knocking back your libation of choice is the most optimal way of hearing them. Apart from a few tracks -- like Chris Barber's Jazz Band's wild take on "Mama Don't Allow" (not coincidentally recorded live), Acker Bilk & His Paramount Jazz Band's hard-charging "Sweet Georgia Brown," and Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen's atmospheric "Midnight in Moscow" -- most of the disc comes off as overly clinical and ultimately bloodless. The groups hit all the notes, but don't transmit any of the fun and frenzy that is such a big part of trad jazz. Still, apart from the puzzling inclusion of two bad songs from the 1980s, It's Trad Dad! does a fair job of conveying the sound of the era, and if you are a fan, it will be a disc you may want to pick up. ~ Tim Sendra


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