Keith Nichols (pno vcls); Alistair Allen (tmb vcls); Liz Fletcher, Wayne McIntyre (vcls); Mike Henry (cnt tpt); Robert Fowler, Randy Colville (reeds); Martin Wheatley (gtr bjo); Graham Read (tuba d-bs bass-sax); Richard Pite (drms md).
Produced by Wayne McIntyre : The Jazz Repertory Company.
Tel: 0181 539 5229 : e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Boisdale Restaurant is situated in the heart of Belgravia, at 13 - 15 Eccleston Street, London SW1W 9LX not far from the mainline railway station, Victoria, on the one side, and Eaton Square on the other at the extremities of the street. Boisdale has a commanding frontage display, and I was taken in by the antique Pietro Piano Accordian on show on entry. In 1999, it was named by Harpers & Queen as the "Independent Restaurant" of the year by its "Premier Crew Awards". Its Macdonald Bar was nominated as "Cigar Bar of the Year" at the televised award ceremony in Leicester Square, in November that very same year, and there are other points of interest all too numerous to include in this CD review.
The Boisdale has become famous, inter alia, for its Scottish cuisine and culinary fare which comes directly from the Highlands, I'd say, north of Culloden Moor, but its classic malt whiskies are drawn from the distilleries throughout the length and breadth of Scotland reaching the far north to Highland Park and Sapa in Orkney where Boisdale acquires its rock oysters.
For details tel: 020 7823 6587.
On the left is a photograph of a Highland Gentleman smoking a Cuban Cigar - circa 1780.
Noteworthy, when one is enjoying a meal, a hearty conversation can take place, whilst one listens to the jazz - common practice to lovers of our kind of jazz.
Contrary to nomal procedure, I inserted the Jazz At Boisdale CD into my computer tower tray to hear it play without first looking to see what it was all about.
To pick out of a hat, Goldkette, Riddle, Whiteman, famous bandleaders from across the pond, or during the 30s and 40s in the posh (port-side out, starboard home) spots, spread out across London streets as named; Coventry, Curzon, Jermyn, Savoy pl., Swallow and more, where those in the know with wherewithal listened to top swing and dance bands of the day, some are still on the tip of my tongue, I could not hazard a guess as to which jazz orchestra I was presently listening to coming from this latest electronic technology at home, and although not for certain, I ended up on the last number It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing to find myself having named correctly, pianist Keith Nichols as the singer on it, and as likewise later, on four others.
They had to be the world's top musicians, I envisaged, and then having duly looked up the personnel and tune titles, my first impression must stand, as I see no reason to change it.
Two of the Boisdale tracks were made famous by Louis Armstrong, West End Blues and Potato Head Blues the latter recorded in Chicago in 1927 by Louis' Hot Seven, alongside Alligator Crawl on the same day, that was the 10th of May, the period when Louis Armstrong had changed from playing cornet to taking up the trumpet. Do Your Duty - Bessie Smith, sung here by Liz Fletcher : and the tributes to Duke Ellington - It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing and Black Beauty : Cab Calloway - Minnie the Moocher : Louis Jordan - Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby : Fats Waller - The Joint Is Jumping; I've Got My Fingers Crossed and Your Feet's Too Big and finally, Bix Beiderbecke with singer Weston Vaughan - I'll Be A Friend With Pleasure here sung by Wayne McIntyre and the very lovely Con Conrad and J. Russell Robinson number Singin' The Blues, a total of twelve tunes on the album.
Anyone conversant with VSOPhonography will understand and appreciate the brilliant performance by Mike Henry of the Boisdale Blue Rhythm Band on the Armstrong numbers.
I was impressed listening to Liz Fletcher. Mindful that the country is batting a dearth of such talent, so I will advocate that Greg Dyke, the new director-general of the BBC, sends a film crew to Boisdale to record a few jazz clips of the Blue Rhythm Jazz Band, and I'll say, that he dosen't need a Morecambe & Wise show to carry them as they graciously did for us in the past, but simply show his new jazz shots every time Jeremy Paxman nearly bursts a blood-vessel when he can't get his interviewee to answer his questions to his liking, thus relieving his and our tensions, by showing these clips of talented jazz artists in intervention, so to improve the health of the nation.
Whether it is C-melody or not, I find all instruments on Singin' The Blues most expressive, centred around the really neat and beautiful Bix cornet solo, the music is all there, it is emitting great joy with its wonderful rhythms, in a manner which allows each variant listener tempo trait to explore, mine, to inculcate a pronounced two measure off-beat break, fourth from the end of that renowned Bix masterpiece verse, which I believe I must have heard but once in my lifetime.
One can spend endless time listening to the reeds, voice and full backing on the also very beautiful I'll Be A Friend With Pleasure, indeed, there is a wealth of tasty bits for everyone to choose from, within all those recordings under the musical direction of drummer Richard Pite.
The exemplary switch across those seven classic jazz styles by those eight Boisdale jazz artists on this performance, rank this album as being a notable of all time.