Just A Closer Walk * ~I Shall Not Be Moved * ~How Long Has It Been * ~I'll Be Somewhere Working For My Lord (In The Highways) * +San Antonio Rose * By and By * +~Rivers Of Babylon * +~Softly And Tenderly Jesus Is Calling * ~Take Your Burden To The Lord * Where Is My Wandering Boy Tonight * ~God Leads His Dear Children Along * +~Highways Are Happy Ways
+ Tracks previously issued on Music Mecca CD 4023-2 Sorgenfri Church ConcertsVol 3
Live recordings from Sorgenfri Kirke, Sorgenfri, Denmark, the 1st of December 2002 by Kjeld Brandt
Music Mecca CD 4069-2 : Time 79.37 : Executive Producer, Henning Schadler
New to me, the first thing that struck me when I received this CD for review was the well structured, semi-hardback booklet format encasement nesting the disc within, with a designer mini pocket holding a 36 paged booklet containing eulogies by New Orleans jazz notables in praise of the late trumpeter/vocalist Cliff ‘Kid’ Bastien and tenor saxophonist George Berry with a discography of the songs on this album by Marcel Joly.
It was twelve years ago in early 1993 when I recorded a cassette of George Berry as a saxophonist member of the Bill Brunskill sextet. Then CDs were not in Bill’s book. The recording, its title "Brunskill and Friends" took place in the Moon Recording Studio, Leslie Park Road, Croydon, which closed its doors a few years back. At the Norbeck Hotel, jazz weekend in Blackpool that year, a gentleman said to me "played the Brunskill tape on the drive into town (Blackpool); brilliant" - my reply, would you say, much of it down to the tenor saxophone playing of George Berry - Yea!
This George Berry & Cliff ‘Kid’ Bastien complete church concert in Sorgenfri Kirke, Denmark, will be of undoubted interest to the followers of gospel music, musicians interested in the New Orleans style of jazz music, and, the hundreds of thousands in England who may be curious to hear and learn more about this music genre, and should be allowed to do so, if TV and radio stations gave it the exposure that it deserves - currently none.
The 12 tracks run for, one and a third hours, inclusive of enthusiastic, congregational appreciative applauses input at the end of each song, its inclusion adds greatly to a definitive, creative picture of the church concert service as one listens to it.
The acoustics within the church adds warmth to the music, and clarity of the album sound.
Much dedicational work and music practise by the members of this octet must have gone into having produced the CD, for each song has its own story told to one, that is to say, with various characteristics, indelible for listener owners to pick up on.
The opening number Just A Closer Walk is a perfect aperitif to all the tunes known to many following. There are a few measures/music bars of clarinet and tenor sheer serenity ensemble playing, leading into controlled tonal dreamland solos first by tenor saxophone, then nice toned clarinet, muted trumpet and a smooth trombone style complemented by distinct banjo chords, finishing up in demi-crescendo triumphal expressions of the tune, and their music in general.
I was in awe of the advancement in the Berry saxophone playing, and saddened to read that he, George, had on the morning of the 4th of August last year, 2004, died of a stroke.
The slapstick used in the correct fashion, and here Cliff ‘Kid’ Bastien shows how effective it can be in driving an audience along to the glory in taking part in the choruses of the music. His singing, and he does so on eight tunes, is inspiring, and is in keeping with his music - yes, unique to it.
The compassion in the way Cliff plays his instrument is enthralling in all its variations, so that too goes for all musicians on this New Orleans Delight, George Berry & Cliff ‘Kid’ Bastien, Sorgenfri Church concert album - expression, tempi and volume changes, haunting sounds, waltz movements, joyous moments, cheering in abundance, they are all there in it, and more with nice harmonies that one would not want to seek, nor, have a need for any extras - read Marcel Joly.
Kings Jazz Review
Wednesday the 15th of June 2005