The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3007: Ken Colyer - Colyer In Stockholm

Personnel:  Ken Colyer (ct,v), Goran Eriksson (cl), Jens Lindgren (tb), Holger Gross (bn), Goran Lind (sbs), Cacka Ekhe (dm)

Songs:  Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams, My Gal Sal, 219 Blues, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Make Me A Pallet on the Floor, Bogalusa Strut, See See Rider, Ti-pi-tin.

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Reviews for:
JCCD-3007: Ken Colyer - Colyer In Stockholm

L.A. Jazz Scene - U. S. A. Magazine

Ken Colyer was one of the top trumpeters on the European traditional jazz scene for over 30 years. His band based its style on that of George Lewis and Jim Robinson (with Colyer emulating Bunk Johnson a bit) but, rather than being content to be mere imitators, Colyer and his associates formed their own individual sound over time. By 1986 Colyer no longer had his own regular group and his health was gradually declining (he would die less than two years later) but, when he was invited to play a jazz festival in Stockholm, he got along well musically and personally with the members of the Classic Jazz band who were hired to perform with him...(he) privately taped one of their concerts which is being released on this Jazz Crusade CD for the first time; it would be Colyer's final recording.
The balance of the instruments is a bit off with the horns generally low in the mix, but the music is quite listenable. Ken Colyer's sparse lead leaves a lot of space in the ensembles and, although clarinetist Goran Eriksen and trombonist Jens Lindgren are fine, the most impressive voice is actually drummer Cacka Ekhe, whose colorful percussive sounds recall Baby Dodds...New Orleans jazz fans will greatly appreciate this historically significent and easily enjoyable music, the last document of a fine trumpeter.
- Scott Yanow


Kings Jazz Review - British Magazine

This recording was made on the 28th June, 1986 and, we are told, could well be the last that Ken ever made. Colyer's lead is relaxed, but firm, and he seems to have enjoyed himself, giving us a typical vocal on Pallet On ±e Floor. The other musicians are from Sweden's Classic Jazz Band and are well versed in the New Orleans style. Although the numbers on the CD are all well known, the refreshing approach by the band ensures that the performances are anything but routine. A worthwhile addition to your collection.
- John Rickard


British Jazz News - British Magazine

To European traditional jazz enthusiasts the name Ken Colyer meant almost the same as Bunk Johnson meant to New Orleans revival jazz in the United States. In 1986 the organisers of the Stockholm Grand Jazz Festival decided to invite a major traditional jazz performer following the success of modernists Dizzy Gillespie, Zoot Sims, Clark Terry, etc. over many years, and Ken Colyer was an obvious choice. This fortuitous booking, which turned out to be his last recording, resulted in a collaboration with the local Classic Jazz Band which produced some of Ken's best playing in years.
A live recording in the open air on a summer's evening overlooking the city of Stockholm may have been the inspiration for the music. Although the recording was made privately on a small portable -machine the original recording has been remastered to produce an acceptable live sound quality of this historic occasion.
The session opens with "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" which features a beautifully constructed mute trumpet solo from Ken Colyer. The vaudeville title "My Gal Sal" and "Bogalusa Strut" are driven along by the swinging New Orleans style drumming of Cache Ekhe and "2:19 Blues" and "Make Me A Pallet on the Floor" have typically laid back vocals from Ken and his blues singing on "See See Rider" is particularly poignant.
Throughout the CD the support for Colyer from the Classic Jazz Band is magnificent and there is no hint in Ken's performance of the impending illness which tragically led to his demise within one year of this recording. In fact a two chorus solo on the final number "Ti-pi-tin" to my mind ranks as high as anything he produced during his long and illustrious career. Recommended.
- Tony Foulkes


Jazz Journal International - British Jazz Magazine

Ken Colyer died in March, 1988, and the sleeve notes claim that this live recording, made at his request, was his last. Swedish trumpeter Claes Ringqvist set the whole thing up, and Colyer (who no longer led a regular band) was backed by the Classic Jazz Band, a capable and versatile Swedish group whose regular trumpeter was Bert Persson.
Given Colyer's deteriorating health, the session might well have proved of little more than historical interest, but happily 'the guv'nor' was on surprisingly good form. Clearly he enjoyed playing with the group; in a letter to Ringqvist dated September 7, 1986, he wrote "... the band was good, very good. One of the best I've played with'. The full-toned and rock-steady banjo of leader Gross is prominent throughout in a good rhythm section, while Eriksson and Lindgren complement Colyer's probing, meditative lead with obvious respect and understanding, adapting well to Colyer's concept of loose, understated ensemble. After a careful, somewhat tentative version all round of Wrap Your Troubles, the session lifts with My Gal Sal, with Colyer creating pleasing the melodic touches which are a hallmark of his best work. He sings at length on all three blues, with See See Rider an outstanding track. Bogalusa Strut and Ti-pi-tin are also fine examples of Colyer's style, full of creative, melodic phrasing which seems emotive and lyrical rather than rhythmically forceful, yet still succeeds in urging the band along.
There is considerable background and even foreground crowd noise, quite intrusive at times, which detracts somewhat from the otherwise acceptable sound quality of this private recording. Recommended to all Colyer devotees.
- Hugh Rainey


Cadence Magazine - U. S. A. Magazine

The late Ken Colyer is probably the most influential of the British New Orleans jazz traditionalists.He began in 1949 as a founding member of the Crane River Jazz Band, spent some time in New Orleans, co-led a band with Chris Barber and later led his own groups. Many major traditional British musicians got their start or worked with Colyer over the years including Monty Sunshine, Pat Hawes in the early years and Acker Bilk and Samrny Rimington in later groups. Because the source of this CD is from a cassette recording made at an outdoor jazz festival, the balance is not ideal. The sound quality is just so-so. Nevertheless, it is certainly listenable and Colyer comes through quite well.
- Shirley Klett


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