Offhand, I can’t think of any Barber recording that I actually dislike. Always, with Chris, there is a light, attractive swing, and the airy overall band-sound is invariably well-seasoned by Pat Halcox’s very hot tone and tight, stomping phrases.
This EP spans three years, bringing back four of the band’s biggest successes (financial) from the period 1955-1956. Naturally, the charming but trivial “Fleur” is included. “High Society” and “Trombone” are good tracks, though Ottilie sounds uncomfortable with the lyrics on the latter. “Rufus” is a tune I have never cared for—with its corny ragtime melody it deserves to be placed alongside “Twelfth Street Rag” in the jazz dustbin.
With all those excellent LPs to choose from I can’t see any serious jazz lover bothering with this.
(a) Petite Fleur; (b) High Society (c) Whlstlin’ Rufus; (d) Trombone Cholly
(a) Monty Sunshine (clt); Dick Smith (bs); Dickie Bishop (bj and g); Ron Bowden (d). 10/10/56.
(b) Chris Barber (tbn); Sunshine (clt): Pat Halcox (tpt); Lonnie Donegan (bj): Jim Bray (bs); Ron Bowden (d). 18/3/55.
(c) as (b) but Micky Ashman replaces Bray. 20/3/56.
(d) as (c) but Eddie Smith (bj); Dick Smith (bs); Graham Burbidge (d) replace Donegan, Ashman and Bowden; Ottilie Paterson (vcl). 23/1/58.
Pye NJE 1068. EP. 12s. 3d.