JJ 03/59: Chris Barber – Not In Hi Fi

First published Jazz Journal, March 1959


“Petit Fleur” or no “Petit Fleur”, I cannot imagine any justification for resurrecting “Didn’t He Ramble” – a sad and sorry performance even when it was first issued in 1951. Recording is dreadful, the lead cornets surge and falter like a couple of half-drowned castaways staggering up a beach and the only flashes of brilliance come from Chris Barber, who swings fiercely through the third and fourth choruses.

The reverse is somewhat better. Ben Cohen turns in some relaxed, Ed Allen derived cornet and Revell plays fervent, early-revival style clarinet on “Baby” – a pleasant performance over good banjo by Favager.

While Esquire are digging through old masters they might consider a couple of those roaring Colyers with the Christie Brothers Stompers: “Bucket Got A Hole In It”, “Ai, Ai, Ai” and “Rum & Coca Cola”, for instance.

Meanwhile, only keen Barber fans will want this one.
Tony Standish

(a) Oh, Didn’t He Ramble; (b) Whoop It Up; (b) Everybody Loves My Baby
(a) Keith Jary, Ben Cohen (tpt); Chris Barber (tbn); Alex Revell (clt); Brian Baker (p); Ferdi Favager (bio); Brylo Ford (bs); Brian Lawes (d). London. 19/3/51. (b) Ben Cohen (cnt): Revell (clt); Favager (bjo); Barber (bs); Lawes (w’bd). 31/9/51.
Esquire EP 206. EP. 13s. 7½d.