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From Britain to Boogaloo

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Chris Barber

Memories of My Trip

Proper American Records

2011

You will find very few jazz retrospectives more thoroughly, warmly inviting than Memories of My Trip, which celebrates six decades of recording and performing by one of Britain's most enduring traditional jazz musicians—trombonist, bassist and bandleader Chris Barber. Presented across two CDs (one subtitled Blues, Jazz & Gospel and the other subtitled Blues & Jazz), Barber's precious Memories are highlighted by admirers such as Muddy Waters
Muddy Waters
Muddy Waters
1915 - 1983
guitar
, Keith Emerson, Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton
b.1945
guitar
, Van Morrison
Van Morrison
Van Morrison
b.1945
vocalist
and others from outside the traditional jazz realm.

Folk-blues legends Sonny Terry
Sonny Terry
Sonny Terry
b.1911
and Brownie McGhee climb onboard the blues classic "When Things Go Wrong" with British vocalist Ottile Patterson and give it a long slow ride back through music history to that point where blues and jazz merge on the horizon. "Kansas City" captures a rolling and tumbling snapshot of roughly-hewn blues from one of Muddy Waters' greatest bands (featuring pianist Pinetop Perkins
Pinetop Perkins
Pinetop Perkins
1913 - 2011
piano
), with Barber's trombone solo growling below Bob Margolin
Bob Margolin
b.1949
's electric blues guitar. Barber's trombone also helps moan and cry the blues shuffle "Weeping Willow," which Eric Clapton impeccably renders on vocals and slide guitar. Disc one also features guitarists Alexis Corner, who blows through James Cotton
James Cotton
James Cotton
b.1935
harmonica
's howling, cavernous "Love Me or Leave Me," and a rare live Rory Gallagher
Rory Gallagher
Rory Gallagher
1949 - 1995
guitar
's recording of "Can't Be Satisfied" released by permission of Gallagher's estate. This first CD closes with a Van Morrison trilogy that features him thoroughly at home, on vocals and harmonica, in the medium he haunts best—the blues—concluding with the glorious and rollicking "Oh, Didn't He Ramble" from sessions that Barber and Morrison recorded with New Orleans pianist Dr. John
Dr. John
Dr. John
b.1940
piano
for Morrison's landmark A Period of Transition (Warner Bros., 1977).

On the second disc, progressive rock greybeard Keith Emerson lets his funky small combo roots show through Jack McDuff
Jack McDuff
Jack McDuff
1926 - 2001
organ, Hammond B3
's compact, crunchy instrumental "Rock Candy." Jools Holland
Jools Holland
b.1958
rips off "Winin' Boy Blues" like a weathered bluesman surrounded by the joyous Dixieland sound of jazz-blues syncopation, with which he strolls more casually "On the Sunny Side of the Street." "Jack Teagarden
Jack Teagarden
Jack Teagarden
1905 - 1964
trombone
Blues" captures a small club date where Barber exchanges trombone blues with Count Basie
Count Basie
Count Basie
1904 - 1984
piano
guitarist, arranger and trombonist Eddie Durham
Eddie Durham
Eddie Durham
1906 - 1987
multi-instrumentalist
.

Three tunes with guitarist Mark Knopfler help Barber bring the curtain down. Thanks to Vic Pitts' loping bass line and Barber's harmony vocal, "Blues Stay Away From Me" introduces another jazz flavor—country-swing jazz—into Barber's hearty roots stew. After ripping up the "Dallas Rag" (first recorded by Dallas String Band band in the 1920s), Barber and Knopfler and friends bid ya'all a good night " 'Till the Next Time I'm in Town," a perfectly relaxed yet swinging way to close—until next time—Barber's Memories of My Trip.

Alice Coltrane

Huntington Ashram Monastery / World Galaxy

Impulse! Records / Universal Music

2011

Composer, pianist, keyboard player, harpist and bandleader Alice (McLeod) Coltrane married John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
in 1965. She played in her husband's band until his passing in 1967 but his influence remained strong throughout her music thereafter. Few of her albums reflect this influence more strongly than Huntington Ashram Monastery, recorded in 1969, and World Galaxy, recorded in 1971, here combined as part of the Impulse!/Universal 2-on-1 Impulse! reissue series.

Huntington captures a trio date with bassist Ron Carter
Ron Carter
Ron Carter
b.1937
bass
and drummer Rashied Ali
Rashied Ali
Rashied Ali
1935 - 2009
drums
, who picked up for Elvin Jones
Elvin Jones
Elvin Jones
1927 - 2004
drums
in John Coltrane's band and helped propel 'Trane into his most "free" jazz. Its title track, originally composed as a solo harp piece, and "Parmahansa Lake" pivot their internal (meditative) and external (exploratory) faces upon the fulcrum of Carter's repetitive, throbbing bass, even though their swirling movements and rhythms, especially from Coltrane's harp, sound static, nearly floating. "I am especially pleased with Ron Carter's playing on this album," she wrote in Monastery's original notes. "His ears are harmonically attuned to higher chord progressions."

Coltrane moves from harp to piano for "Via Sivanandager" and "Jaya Jaya Rama" and the piano's less heavenly, more temporal sound seems to root them in more earthly styles. The spiritual overtones, and multiplicity and sheer volume of her notes, impart such majestic jazz power to "Via Sivanandager" that the comparison to McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner
b.1938
piano
, another of her husband's most famous sidemen, seems almost too evident. Her piano roots "Jaya Jaya Rama" in the blood, sweat and tears of the blues.

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