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Chris Barber: Memories of My Trip

Chris M. Slawecki By

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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, Keith Emerson, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison and others from outside the traditional jazz realm.

Folk-blues legends Sonny Terry 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), with Barber's trombone solo growling below Bob Margolin'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's howling, cavernous "Love Me or Leave Me," and a rare live Rory Gallagher'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 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's compact, crunchy instrumental "Rock Candy." Jools Holland 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 Blues" captures a small club date where Barber exchanges trombone blues with Count Basie guitarist, arranger and trombonist Eddie Durham.

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.

Track Listing: CD1: Memories of My Trip; When Things Go Wrong; Do Lord Do Remember Me; Weeping Willow; Kansas City; Love Me or Leave Me; Can't Be Satisfied; Diggin' My Potatoes; Goin' Up the River; How Long Blues; Goin' Home; Oh Didn't He Ramble; Lonesome Road; I'll Be Rested; Precious Lord, Take My Hand; Couldn't Keep It To Myself; Another Sad One; CD2: St. Louis Blues/Missouri Special/St. Louis Blues; High Society; Rock Candy; Georgia on MyMind; Rose Room; C-Jam Blues; Tea Party Blues; Jack Teagarden Blues; Tailgate Boogie; Winin' Boy Blues; On the Sunny Side of the Street; Blues Stay Away from Me; Dallas Rag; 'Til the Next Time I'm in Town.

Personnel: Chris Barber: trombone, vocals, bass; Brownie McGhee: vocal, guitar; Sonny Terry: vocals, harmonica; Ottile Patterson: vocal; Paul Halcox: trumpet, vocal; Monty Sunshine: clarinet; Eddie Smith: banjo; Dick Smith: bass; Graham Burbridge: drums; Eric Clapton: guitar, vocal; Chris Stainton: keyboards; Dave Bronze: bass; Henry Spinetti: drums; Muddy Waters: guitar, vocal; Pinetop Perkins: piano; Bob Margolin: guitar; Calvin Jones: bass; Willie "Big Eye" Smith: drums; James Cotton: vocal, harmonica; Alexis Korner: guitar; Keith Scott: piano; Rory Gallagher: guitar, vocal; Lonnie Donagan: vocal; John Crocker: clarinet, tenor sax; Ian Wheeler: clarinet, harmonica; Johnny McCallum: guitar, banjo; John Slaughter: guitar, vocal; Vic Pitt: bass; Norman Emberson: drums; Jeff Healey: trumpet, guitar, vocal; Christopher Plock: clarinet, soprano sax, alto sax; Jesse Barksdale: guitar; Brian Graville: piano; Colin Bray: bass; Gary Scriven: drums; Van Morrison: vocal, harmonica, guitar; Paul Sealey: banjo; Colin Miller: drums; John Crocker: tenor sax, vocal; John Deffeary: clarinet, tenor sax; Dr. John: piano; Marlow Henderson: guitar; Reggie McBride: bass; Ollie Brown: drums; Paul Jones: vocal, harmonica; Alan "Sticky" Wickett: drums; Andy Fairweather Low: vocal, guitar; Andy Kuc: banjo; John Sutton: drums; Professor Alex Bradford: vocal; Jackie Flavelle: bass; Edmond Hall: clarinet; Keith Emerson: organ; David Langston: guitar; Lee Jackson: bass; Alan Turner: drums; Trummy Young: trombone, vocal; Sammy Rimington: alto sax; Roger Hill: guitar; Pete York: drums; Joe Darensbourg: clarinet; Richard Simmons: piano; Terry Knight: bass; Dave Evans: drums; Albert Nicholas: clarinet; Jonny Boston: tenor sax; James Evans: clarinet; Anton Fenech: guitar; Gary Simons: bass; John Whitfield: drums; Eddie Durham: trombone; Norman Emberson: drums; Sammy Price: piano; Keith Smith: trumpet; Sandy Brown: clarinet; Ruan O'Lochlainn: guitar; John Rodber: bass; Johnny Armitage: drums; Jools Holland: piano, vocals; Mike Henry: trumpet; David Horniblow: clarinet, tenor sax; Joe Farler: guitar; Mark Knopfler: guitar, vocal.

Title: Memories of My Trip | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Proper American


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