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Appraising the Aubel Band Sittard from the Netherlands should be relatively easy for a Jazz reviewer, as the band doesn’t play any Jazz at all. Some dance / swing music (“Sentimental Journey,” “A String of Pearls”) but that’s as close as it comes. What the band does play, primarily at least, on this CD from 1994 is some rock, some Latin, and even some traditional music from its homeland. There are two rock ’n roll medleys, only some of whose strains are familiar to this admittedly moldy fig. What we can say is that, musically, the band is competent. In other words, it doesn’t sound like a group of hobbyists or amateurs. While the music itself isn’t our cup of tea, the Aubel Band doesn’t stumble through it. On the contrary, there is every indication that the various members are able to read music and play together. There are no solos to speak of, but the band uses a number of vocalists, none of whom is better than ordinary. Perhaps the substandard material has something to do with that; it’s difficult to sound impressive on “Wooly Bully,” “See You Later Alligator” or (unless one’s name is Elvis) “Hound Dog.” While I don’t speak the language, the disc’s title, 35 jaor, may refer to the number of years the band has been in business. If so, it must be quite popular at home. I don’t think it would fare quite as well on this side of the ocean, as the competition is much keener, but hope that Aubel continues to entertain audiences and music–lovers in the Netherlands.
Track listing: Limburg Selection (medley van Limburgse leidjes); Sentimental Journey; James Last rock ’n roll medley No. 10 (Rock Around the Clock / See You Later Alligator / Hound Dog); A String of Pearls; Wooly Bully; Ramona; Hit–Kalendar (Sun of Jamaica / A Far l’Amore / Paloma Blanca); Wien bleibt Wien; Holiday Hits (Che Sara / Arrivederci Roma / El Lute); Cha Cha Cha; That Sounds Good to Me rock ’n roll medley (Everybody Needs Somebody / Long Tall Sally / Keep a’Knockin’ / Roll Over Beethoven / Tequila) (36:07).
Will Greten, Ed Willems, alto sax; Lei Cremers, John Nijsten, tenor sax; John Nijsten, baritone sax; Hugo Kamps, Toon Kohlen, Peter Kunkels, Theo van Mulken, trumpet; Richard Coenen, Jos Janssen, Marc Verblakt, trombone; Rob Hodzelmans, piano, keyboards; Ton Houben, guitar; Han Verbiesen, bass guitar; Piet Houben, drums; Lucie Kruysse, Peter Kunkels, Han Verbiesen, Mariet Houben, vocals.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.