The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3046: Goin' Home - A Fond Farewell to Chris Blount

Personnel: Chris Blount [cl], Norman Thatcher, Derek Winters, Ged Hone [tp], Dave Vickers, Big Bill Bissonnette, Ron Radford [tb], Barry Grummett [pn], Dave Brennan, Mac Mac Donald, Tony Peatman [bn], Mick Kennedy, Ken Matthews, Harry Slater [sb], Malc Murphy, Dion Cochrane, Steve Upton [dm]

Songs: Carolina Moon, Goin' Home, Doctor Jazz, Salutation March, Too Busy, Clarinet Marmalade, Give Me Your Telephone Number, Four or Five Times, Get Out of Here, Milneberg Joys, Roses of Picardy, Melancholy, At A Georgia Camp Meeting, Mama Inez, The Moose, A March.

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Reviews for:
JCCD-3046: Goin' Home - A Fond Farewell to Chris Blount

Just Jazz - British Traditional Jazz magazine

This issue from Bill Bissonnette's Jazz Crusade label is a compilation of tracks from three sessions between 1993-1996 and is therefore representative of how the late Chris Blount was playing before his untimely death in 1998.
His death was a sad loss to the British New Orleans jazz scene. He had his detractors, because of his love for the George Lewis sound, but his love of New Orleans came over whenever he played.
This CD finds Chris in the company of musicians with whom he was to work over the last 8 years, after he split up his original band. It is also a bonus to find 5 tracks with Chris playing with Ged Hone [tp] a player who has not recorded as much as he should, and who deserves a greater stage. He plays with dynamics more associated with early Colyer and, of course, Kid Howard & Mutt Carey. Bill Bissonnette, who put this album out, is also playing trombone a' la Robinson on the same tracks.
This is all unissued material, so to all lovers of Chris' music, buy this one.
- Pete Lay


Boxell's Jazz Website - New Zealand

Chris Blount had a habit of surprising jazz fans, and he certainly did so when he died suddenly this year. A player in the George Lewis mould, Chris toured and played extensively in England and Europe, both with his own band and as a guest player with other bands. Both fans and fellow jazz musicians will certainly miss him. This CD comprises of three separate. The first is from 1995 with an all-star band including Norman Thatcher and Dave Vickers. With Thatcher being the closest around to Ken Colyer, you know how the tracks sound: pure New Orleans played in a smooth but crisp manner that delights the ears.
The second session is from 1993 with Ged Hone on trumpet and Big Bill Bissonnette on trombone. This band has a harder edge and more forceful style, and it is quite noticeable how Chris shows his ability to vary his style to fit in with those he is playing with. The final session is from 1996. It is Chris' regular band. Again the pace changes and it is amazing that the man could show such variety of delivery and yet remain so completely within idiom. Chris Blount was often underrated as a jazz clarinetist, not least by myself, but this CD shows him at his best, and it is a fitting, and indeed fond, farewell to a great talent.
- Geoff Boxell


jazzreview.com - U.S.A.

British clarinetist and leader, Chris Blount, passed away in 1999. Jazz Crusade has put together, a group of three sessions in tribute to Chris. Session 1 was recorded in 1995 and features Cris Blount (clt), Norman Thatcher (tpt), Dave Vickers (tbn), Barry Grummett (pno), Dave Brennan (bjo), Mick Kennedy (sbs) and Malc Murphy (dms). This is a very good set including Carolina Moon, Goin' Home, Doctor Jazz, Salutation March and Too Busy. Chris Blount plays in a lively George Lewis groove and seems very much at home. The pianist, Barry Grummett, although not a soloist, adds a tremendous spark to the band. Drummer, Malc Murphy drives beautifully and utilizes every piece of his kit to the limit. The great rhythm section is really an asset. Thatcher and Vickers do a fine job up front. I especially like the band's rendition of "Too Busy", a tune penned by country writer Ned Miller. Pop singer, Kay Starr also recorded the tune in the mid 1950's with little success. The British trad groups have picked up the song and made it sound like a hot dance item from the 1920s.
Session 2 was recorded at Bude in 1993 and is a sextet featuring Chris Blount (clt), Ged Hone (tpt), Big Bill Bissonnette (tbn), Mac MacDonald (bjo), Ken Matthews (sbs) and Dion Cochrane (dms). This set regrettably suffers from an ineffective trumpet player and a weak rhythm section in my humble opinion. Chris Blount and the visiting fireman, Big Bill Bissonnette are left to carry the ball. The absence of a pianist is noticeable. Chris and Bill work their butts off and carry the group through Clarinet Marmalade, Four or Five Times, Give Me Your Telephone Number, Get Out Of Here and Milneburg Joys. Chris Blount slips out of the George Lewis mode and seems comfortable but tired.
Session 3 was taped in Nottingham during the spring of 1996 and the lineup is Chris Blount (clt), Derek Winters (tpt), Ron Radford (tbn), Barry Grummett (pno), Tony Peatman (bjo), Harry Slater (sbs) and Steve Upton (dms). This session includes Roses of Picardy, Melancholy, Georgia Camp Meeting, Mama Inez and Moose March. The return of Barry Grummett's driving piano and a good rhythm section make this set sparkle. The front line is enthusiastic and effective resulting in a most enjoyable listening experience. Blount seems to switch the Lewis style on and off at will and plays with a lot of energy. All things considered, this is a very nice tribute to an important British player who has played his final bar.
- Richard Bourcier


Mississippi Rag - U. S. A.

Big Bill Bissonnette's latest Jazz Crusade release honors the late clarinetist, Chris Blount. The 15 cuts are taken from three different sessions recorded in the U. K. during the 1990s with largely different personnels, but all featuring Blount.
It is easy to pidgenhole Blount's style as nearly unalloyed George Lewis. The British musicians supporting him sound as if their apprenticeship had been served in uptown New Orleans, although it is more likely that the classic Bunk Johnson and George Lewis record imports served as the formative influeneces.
The first five selections listed above are from a 1995 session with Norman Thatcher and Dave Vickers. Thatcher has incorporated a number of Bunkisms in his style, and Vickers has Jim Robison as his model. This session was the source of a previous album, and now we have available the remaining material.
The next five numbers are live performances from the Bude Jazz Festival of 1993, with a pianoless band featuring Blount, Ged Hone, trumpet and Big Bill Bissonnette trombone. This combo sounds somewhat hotter and stompier than the other two line-ups. An enthusiastic audience never hurts and the band's excitement on this gig is obvious.
The final five cuts with Blount has Derek Winters on trumpet and Ron Radford on trombone. They were recorded in 1996 in Nottingham. This was Blount's own band and is a lovely, relaxed session. Exactly and the tune are well chosen for variety.
- Bill Mitchell


JazzGazette.com - Internet Magazine

With the exception of Benny Goodman, no jazz clarinet player had more influence in his style of playing than George Lewis. There was a time that almost every clarinet player in Europe, wanting to play New Orleans jazz, tried to sound more or less like George Lewis. Some of them managed, starting from George's style, to develop their own personality, which made them sound different from the rest ofthe same school. Chris Blount was one ofthe best in this category. Although he never visited New Orleans, Chris knew instinctively to catch the spirit ofthe music from the city on the Mississippi. He was a very popular guest at the European traditional jazz festivals. His succesful career ended abruptly with his sudden and premature death in December 98 at the age of 57. This CD is a tribute from Jazz Crusade to this beloved clarinet player. For Chris Blount completists it is also an occasion to complete their collection. Two ofthe sessions on this CD have numbers that didnt get on the original earlier Jazz Crusades (Thatcher/BlountA/ickers JCCD-3018 and Chris Blount New Orleans Jazz Band JCCD-3022), the third one is an unissued live session from the 1993 Bude Jazz Festival.
Dont think these are just leftovers. Remember a CD has a maximum playing time after all. The presence of Chris Blount defines in an important way the kind of New Orleans jazz we hear on this CD. We are indeed in George Lewis territory! No typical British trad here! Each of the bands you hear has it's own character, which proves again that it is possible to play creatively in a strictly chosen style. All the musicians on this CD are great exponents ofthe British New Orleans jazz world, except for the American Bill Bissonnette (Mr. Jazz Crusade himself) who is a member ofthe band at the Bude Jazz Festival and produces some strong solo work.
The personnel ofthe first band contains at least 4 (and maybe more!) bandleaders. The rise of clashing personalities is avoided because everyone contributes to the welfare of the session. "Playing for the benefit ofthe band" as Baby Dodds called it. My favourite track is the beautiful "Coin1 Home", a Ken Oolyer composition based on a melody from Dvorak.
At the second session, recorded at the Strand Hotel during the 1993 Bude Festival, everybody plays with enormous enthusiasm. Listen to the hard swinging "Give Me Your Telephone Number" (originally recorded by J.C. Higginbotham with part ofthe Luis Russell band), the shuffle rhythm of "Four Or Five Times" and the exciting "Get Out Of Here".
The last session features the normal Chris Blount Band in great form. In addition to some New Orleans classics, we enjoy the evergreen "Roses of Picardy" and - my favorite track! - the great rhumba "Mama Inez," a tune we all know from the Kid Thomas version. The binding element of these three very different sessions is of course the bitter-sweet Chris Blount clarinet, which we can only listen to on records from now on. Farewell Chris...
- Marcel Joly


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