This review is a bit of a departure from the norm, being a VHS , broadcast quality, video cassette rather than a CD. Several readers have written asking why traditional jazz is seldom reviewed. The simple answer is that little is submitted to me. That seems to be changing with the arrival of Mart Rodger's Manchester Jazz and the Alex Pangman CD recently featured as CD of the week. Manchester Jazz is not to be confused with the plethora of "trad" bands who frantically copy the sound of the Late George Lewis. Here's a tight little band who, though fun to hear, place prime importance on musicianship. They have their moments of fun and gags on certain tunes such as Ory's Creole Trombone to the delight of the audience.
The video runs 63 minutes and includes: Blues/ Copenhagen/ Moanin' Low/ Let's Sing Again/ Bourbon Street Parade/ Chicago/ East St. Louis Toodle-oo/ Mabel's Dream/ Lazybones/ Sidewalk Blues/ She's Crying For Me/ I Sent For You Yesterday/ A Lovely Way To Spend an Evening and bassist, Colin Smith's great original "I Believe In Rainbows".
Personnel: Mart Rodger - clarinet, Alan Dent - trumpet, Terry Brunt - trombone, Roger Browne - piano, Colin Smith - bass/tuba, Charley Bentley - banjo/guitar and Pete Staples - drums.
The band is presently playing the Helena Traditional Jazz Festival in Montana until June 27th. They just completed their gig at the Stockton Hot and Cool Jazz Fest in California.
Mart and the band have several CDs available along with the video. The CDs and video are available from Jan Scobey's Hot Jazz, P.O.Box 6, Upper Lake, CA 95485-0006. Call 1-800-8-SCOBEY.
I enjoyed this band very much and look forward to reviewing their CDs shortly.