The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3027: Here Come the Brits  - the British All-Stars

Personnel: Pat Hawes [pn], Frank Brooker [rds), Ken Pye [tp], Paul Munnery [tb], Dave Brennan [bn], Sarah Spencer [rd], Annie Hawkins [sbs], Dion Cochrane [dm]

Songs:
Porter's Love Song, Coquette, Pretend, Sometimes My Burden, If I Had You, Old Grey Bonnet, Siboney, Bogalusa Strut, Back Porch, All the Whores, Underneath Hawaiian Skies, Anytime, There'll Be Some Changes Made, Who's Sorry Now, It's Tite Like That.

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Reviews for:
JCCD-3027: Here Come the Brits  - the British All-Stars

Jazz Journal - British Magazine

Bill Bissonnette's label is dedicated to promoting purist, native New Orleans style jazz. This album features eight selected British musicians familiar with the genre. Frank Booker, a versatile musician, contributes some pleasant clarinet, which fits in nicely, without imitating George Lewis. His opening chorus on Change gets the number off to a good start, which the band picks up on, and his duetting on tenor with Sarah-a bold idea on a New Orleans spiritual, which works surprisingly well- makes Sometimes My Burden one of the best tracks.Sarah's booty, somewhat abrasive tenor is rhythmically quite propulsive, and knits in well in ensemble, but to my ears she needs to develop her ideas and phrasing in solo passages, particularly at slower tempos, and perhaps to modify her tone where appropriate.
Munnery-also experienced outside the strict New Orleans style-offers some interesting touches in solos. Ken Pye's jerky, abrupt, stabbing phrasing, modelled on Kid Thomas's style, I personally found unsettling.
A very good, strong rhythm team lays down a rugged, driving beat throughout. Annie Hawkins's percussive, propulsive bass lines, Dave Bren-nan's disciplined Marrero-style beat and responsive dynamic drumming from Dion Cochrane are admirably complemented by the experienced and accomplished Pat Hawes's tasteful piano.
Generally speaking the solos are not inspired, and the band sounds at its best in upbeat mood on ride-out ensembles-Sometimes My Burden, Under Hawaiian Skies, Changes, It's Tite (?!) Like That. Shortcomings there are; Siboney, in which the band struggles in Latin American rhythm, is pretty hard going. But at its best, with good ensemble playing and a driving rhythm section, there is some ruggedly exciting New Orleans jazz.
- Hugh Rainey


Cadence Magazine - U. S. A.

the majority of the music on this disc is of the ensemble spotlight. The playing is usually so infectious that I find criticism to be a minor one. I enjoy the piano work of Pat Hawes, especially his strong left hand. His solos are always first-class, swinging with a vengeance if only for thirty seconds. The trumpet of Ken Pye often leads the ensemble in, which is fine because he has a fine grasp of the New Orleans sound. Paul Munnery's trombone swoops and flies around the other players with glee - he's got a bluesy ballsy wail that he cannot contain (listen to his solo on "Pretend"). Frank Booker shares the reed work with Ms. Bissonnette. His clarinet playing captures the joy of the early New Orleans stylists like Johnny Dodds - he flies over Dion Cochrane's slamming snare work on "Old Grey Bonnet," setting the table for Bissonnette's strong baritone solo. His sensuous solo on the funky "Siboney" is a treat. Bassist Annie Hawkin's playing is often buried by the exuberant sounds of the front line but, when she comes through, she shows herself to be a solid contributor. The banjo work of Dave Brennan also gets lost in the mix much of the time. Nevertheless, if you listen to this music for technical proficiency, you are missing the point. This stuff is fun, it swings without shame and rarely if ever lets up. One valid criticism is that the program does not have enough variety in tempo but, then again, a quiet (and I mean soft) ballad would probably sound out of place. If you listen to this disc for its spirit, you should be pleased.
- Richard B. Kamins


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