Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Man Overboard Quintet's first album, All Hands On Deck was a huge success. ("Violin playing worthy of Grappelli on a disc of pre-war swing tunes" The Strad - "Just imagine, if Grappelli and Goodman had got together, what the end product would have sounded like!" bebopspokenhere) This new collection steers away from more famous names in the American songbook and delves deeper under the surface including What a Little Moonlight Can Do by Charles M. Woods from 1937, J. C. Johnson's prohibition song Me and My Gin from 1928 Victoria Spivey's Dirty TB Blues from 1929, inspired by a tuberculosis epidemic. The title of the album 'Down in the deep deep blue' comes from Isham Jones' song I Hate Myself for Being So Mean to You, describing the place where the protagonist intends to 'drown' (or in some versions to 'hide') himself. The album also features Trav'lin All Alone; the popular If My Heart Could Only Talk, Carelessly; and the later, and prophetic Good Morning Heartache, recorded by Billie Holiday at the height of her fame in 1946. The earliest song in the collection here is an exception - it came not from America, but from the UK. The music for Limehouse Blues was written by the English composer Philip Braham for a revue starring Gertrude Lawrence in 1922. Man Overboard Quintet brings together five like-minded musicians who play and listen to all sorts of music, and who share a love of hot swing. Thomas Gould is a classical violinist described as "staggeringly virtuosic" by The Guardian. He also is a dab hand at jazz, and his playing meets its match in the lyrical clarinet-playing of Ewan Bleach, who has been making his mark on the music scenes of London and New Orleans. Thomas and Ewan work the tunes beautifully together, sometimes harmonising, sometimes challenging each other. At other times, they simply provide the setting for Louisa Jones' distinctively husky but sweet voice. Underpinning the sound are Dave O'Brien, one of the brightest young musicians on the London swing scene, on the double bass and Jean-Marie Fagon, a good old- fashioned, no-nonsense rhythm guitarist from France.
Personnel: Jean-Marie Fagon (vocals, guitar); Ewan Bleach (vocals, clarinet); Louisa Jones (vocals); Thomas Gould (violin, background vocals); Dave O'Brien (double bass, background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Richard Sutcliffe.
Liner Note Authors: Sebastian Scotney; Jean-Marie Fagon.
Recording information: The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex, UK (02/26/2014-02/28/2014).
Photographer: S.L. Chai.