JJ 02/70: Alex Harvey – Roman Wall Blues

First published in Jazz Journal February 1970


This is a record on which vocal eccentricity seems to have replaced feeling. Mr. Harvey’s singing is in fact the LP’s main fault; the instrumental work isn’t interesting, but at least it’s inoffensive, although the alleged arrange­ments sound like poor man’s Motown most of the time.

Mainly because of the high quality of W. H. Auden’s poignant original, Roman Wall Blues is the worst sufferer, but then Mick Jagger and Keith Richard don’t deserve to have their Jumping Jack Flash mauled in this way either. Alex Harvey fans will need it to bring their collections up to date, but I can’t in all honesty recommend the record to anybody else.
Ron Brown

Midnight Moses; Hello L.A. Bye Bye Birming­ham; Broken Hearted Fairy Tale; Donna; Roman Wall Blues (23 min) – Jumping Jack Flash; Hammer Song; Let My Bluebird Sing; Maxine; Down At Bart’s Place; Candy (23 min)
Alex Harvey (vcl/gtr) with: Bud Parks, Derek Watkins (tpt); Derek Wadsworth (tbn): Frank Ricotti (alt/perc); Ashton Tootle (bari/flt); Mickey Keene, Leslie Harvey (gtr); Maurice Cockerill (keyboard); Laurie Baker (bs/ electronics); Pete Wolfe (dm). ‘Down At Bert’s Place’ arr/ dir. Frank Ricotti; others arr/dir. Derek Wadsworth. 1969.
(Fontana STL 5534 37s 8d)