Jim Galloway: Music Is My Life Featuring Dick Wellstood, Jay McShann, Humphrey Lyttelton
Sackville has compiled in this two CD set three live performances by Canadian multi-reedist Jim Galloway player at various Toronto jazz venues which found their way to LPs that have been unavailable. Galloway teams with two pianists, Dick Wellstood and Jay McShann and then joins England's consummate purveyor of New Orleans traditional music, trumpet and clarinetist, Humphrey Lyttelton.
The first CD has all the cuts made with Wellstood and some of those with McShann. The former's play list includes tunes usually associated with New Orleans as well as other traditional jazz, and Galloway and Wellstood perform them admirably. On "I'd Climb the Highest Mountain: the Galloway clarinet would be equally at home at a Sunday Morning service with his hymn like version of this classic. Traditional New Orleans played in a low-keyed manner is heard on "Buddy Bolden's Blues" where Galloway reveals his Sidney Bechet connection, a connection that is reaffirmed on Bechet's composition "Broken Windmill". The only problem is that on a couple of cuts, e.g., "Blues Alley Bump", Pete Magadini sounds as if he's using a club rather than a stick on the drums making for some unpleasant thumping. The first disc also features one of the highlights of the album, a poignant, delicate version of Black Butterfly, where Galloway's soprano sax is expressive capturing Ellington's fluttering, wafting delicate image he created in this 1938 composition. The work with McShann moves away somewhat from the traditional mode as they direct their efforts toward more standard material. Given McShann's musical bent, there is also a blusier feeling in the music.
The second disc completes the Galloway-McShann collaboration and captures all of Galloway's album with Lyttelton. Once more showing his dexterity, Galloway fits right into the style of Britain's premiere revivalist of traditional music. All the cuts here are written by the British musician and reflect his perception of what this style really means. It comes with a strong Louis Armstrong essence. These compositions reveal that, at least on this occasion, the music takes on a more sophisticated mien than one usually hears in the New Orleans style. Listen to "Caribana Queen" where, as the title suggests, there is a Caribbean flavor added to the New Orleans gumbo. It creates an image of a Crescent City band marching down the street with a little more swagger in their hips.
The release restores to jazz fans three albums that have long been unavailable, in an attractive package of more than two hours of music. The album shows the many facets of Galloway's talent as he teams nicely and comfortably with jazz artists all worthy of their mutual collaboration. Highly recommended.
Track Listing: CD 1. Minor Drag@; Lulu's Back in Town@; Broken Windmill@; Sunday Morning@; Blues Alley Bump@; After You've Gone@; Buddy Bolden's Blues@; I'd Climb the Highest Mountain@; Let's Get away from lt All@; Everything I've Got@; Thou Swell#; Someone to Watch Over Me#; Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams#; Black Butterfly#; Sweet Sue# CD 2. I've Got the World on a String#; Just a Gigolo#; Humoresque#; I only Have Eyes for You#; It's A Thing*; Sprauncy*; Squiggles*; Looking for Turner*; Rain*; Lady Jekyll and Mistress Hyde*; Leisure Palace*; Caribana Queen*
Personnel: Jim Galloway - Soprano & Baritone Sax/Clarinet; Dick Wellstood@, Jay McShann# - Piano; Pete Magadini@, Terry Clarke#* - Drums; Don Thompson#, Neil Swainson* - Bass; Humphrey Lyttelton* - Trumpet/Clarinet