The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3014:  The Red Light Trio

Personnel:  Norman Field [cl], Richard Simmons [pn], Terry Knight [sbs]

Songs:  Isle of Capri, Mama's Gone Goodbye, Wolverine Blues, Saturday Night Function, I Know That You Know, Sweet Sue, My Melancholy Baby, Fidgety Feet, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Three Little Words, So Sweet, Someday Sweetheart, Hindustan, Am I Blue?, I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles, Red Light Blues, Tiger Rag.

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Reviews for:
JCCD-3014:  The Red Light Trio

Mississippi Rag - U. S. A. June 2000

Big Bill Bissonnette, a fine trombonist, is actually most significent for his work as a record label owner and as an instigator of stimulating projects. Bissonnette has been responsible for many rewarding recordings taking place that would otherwise have never been documented. In some ways, it is surprising that the Red Light Trio outing is on the Jazz Crusade label for the music at times almost looks towards swing. The musicianship of these three men is beyond repute. Norman Field is a fluent clarinetist whose lower register recalls Tony Parenti. He is a passionate but smooth player who is at his best on uptempo multi-theme material such as Wolverine Blues, Tiger Rag and Fidgety Feet,
Pianist Richard Simmons recalls Art Hodes in spots, gives much of the music a bluish feel and is consistently inventive. Bassist Terry Knight, whose forcefull playing on some of the tunes is worthy of Pops Foster, is superior in support of the lead voices.
None of their 17 performances loses one's interest, and the interplay among the three musicians keeps the music swinging while avoiding predictability. Although they play very well, this is not a regular group, and the band's name was named after the red light on Terry Knight's amplifer!
- Scott Yanow

All Music Guide - U. S. A.

In 1995 producer-trombonist Big Bill Bissonnette recorded clarinetist Norman Field, pianist Richard Simmons and bassist Terry Knight for a CD on his Jazz Crusade label. The group was dubbed the "Red Light Trio" because of the light that was on Knight's amplifier! Their music was very much in the tradition of 1920's New Orleans with Field in particular sounding strong. There was no attempt to keep the band together after the recording session was over but, since all three musicians play in the trad circuit in England, it is possible that they will regroup in some form in the future.
- Scott Yanow

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

None of the English players on this CD from Jazz Crusade are well-known here [clarinetist Norman Field, pianist Richard Simmons and bassist Terry Knight] but on evidence of this excellent record, they should be. Field is a superior player whose style is a bit reminiscent of Tony Parent!, Joe Marsala and Jimmie Noone and Richard Simmons is a fine swing pianist while Terry Knight consistently drives the ensembles.
With Field as the lead voice, the trio interprets a variety of selections, mostly from the 1920's and 30's, that include such enjoyable pieces as "Isle of Capri," "Mama's Gone Goodbye," "I Know that You Know," "Purple Rose of Cairo," "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" and 12 others. Classic jazz fans will want to get this set for there are plenty of explosive moments and surprises in addition to solid swinging. It is gratifying to know that in 1995, this style of music is still being played with creativity.
- Scott Yanow

Gene Miller - U.S.A.

All too often, jazz trios bore us with vapid cocktail music or meaningless cascades of notes -perhaps both. Not so the Red Light Trio. This group of seasoned British jazzmen plays elegant but strongly rhythmic jazz in the true New Orleans manner, deftly elaborating on the melody but never forsaking it. The group richly deserves to be included among the "Best of the Brits," the series of Jazz Crusade's offerings of which this is the sixth, recorded last May in Fjigland.
Norman Field plays a nimble and sensitive clarinet, refreshingly delicate and refined. Richard Simmons' piano is sturdy and melodic, while Terry Knight on the string bass seems to push each number right along with no sense of effort or strain. Each is in good command of his instrument. The overall effect is light but at the same timepropulsive.
has outstanding passages in almost every tune.

Jazz Journal - U.K.

This album is one of a series recorded for and supervised by Big Bill Bissonnette on recent visits to Britain. Bill's policy has been to assem-
Die groups 01 musicians, rauict man use csuiu-lished bands, an interesting concept in that it gives the opportunity for musicians to work together for the first time. The Red Light Trio was such a group.
Terry Knight is an all-action player in the New Orleans slap bass tradition. Pianist Richard Simmons is a forthright, attacking player, who in his younger days was an Alton Purnell stylist - - he worked with Ken Colyer and recorded with John Handy etc. In recent years he has worked with various jazz-funk and R&B groups on keyboards and electric pianos. Richard returns to wooden piano for this session. Norman Field is a new name to me; based in Birmingham he appears regularly at jazz festivals and is an expert on Twenties style music. He was a long-serving member of the Zenith Hot Stompers, has run his own band, the Harmony Hounds, and has appeared with the Colyer Trust band. 1 thoroughly enjoyed his work on this album. He carries the melodic resposibiliry on every track with considerable assurance. Sample the contrasting tempos and moods of "My Melancholy Baby" and "Fidgety Feet." Norman doesn't fit into a neat compartment clarinet wise, but I hear overtones of Ray Burke, Albert Nicholas and, as Bill Bissonnette points out, Polo Barnes. His playing has considerable swing and fluency, coupled with a truly mellow tone - nice use of dynamics too - impressive! Given the circumstances, with no rehearsal time, it was a major acheivement to get no less than 17 tracks in the can and there is a remarkable feeling of integration between the members of the trio. My favorite tracks are "Wolverine Blues,"" So Sweet," a ragged but exciting Terry the Tiger" and "Red Light Blues." Fine Simmons blues piano on the latter and a non-slap down home chorus to back Norman's Creole clarinet.
- Pat Hawes

American Rag - U.S.A.

The Red Light Trio consists of British jazzmen Norman Filed, clarinet; Richard Simmons, piano; Terry Knight, string bass. Field exhibits a woody nearly vibrato-less tone, fleet dancing lines, and more than a little of Jimmie Noone in his ideas (6 of the 17 tunes were waxed by Noone's combo). Simmons evokes one of my favorite ticklers, Art Hodes, in his bluesy smears, part-chord funks, treble glances and left-hand jabs. Knight, who sticks mostly to functional rhythm, supplies the glue between the two princibals, laying down a reliable big-bottomed beat whether slapping or plucking. It's a very satisfying helping of downtown New Orleans-style jazz. Field's clean agile improvisa­tions have plenty of heart, while Simmons rougher interplay maintains backbone. The trio as a whole emits an engaging bracing joie de vivre that keeps you coming back for more. Five stars - our top rating.
- Tex Wyndham

IAJRC Journal - U.S.A.

We can trace the history of the jazz trio with clarinet back 70 years. Sidney Bechet, Albert Nicholas, Johnny Dodds, Jim-mie Noone and Omer Simeon all played in them. Bechet used a trio with Clarence Williams and Buddy Christian back in 1923. In 1925, Richard M. Jones led a trio with Nicholas and Johnny St. Cyr. Dodds led trios with piano and wash­board or guitar as the third voice from 1926 to 1927 before settling on Bill Johnson and his string bass as a permanent member in 1928. Jelly Roll Morton used clarinetist Barney Bigard in a trio with drummer Zutty Singleton in 1929.
The Red Light Trio, a name bestowed at the recording ses­sion, is true to the time-honored tradition that has preceded it. Field uses all the colors of the New Orleans clarinet spec­trum. Knight is a bassist out of the Pops Foster school. If you've been to New Orleans' Preservation Hall, you've heard the style of piano Richard Simmons plays. He leads, feeds and solos.
Reaching back in history, the trio plays: ODJB's Nick LaRocca's & Larry Shields' 1918 "Fidgety Feet." It is done to a turn. It bounces along at a merry clip and with the new
blood flowing through its veins, it gets a'roaring and a'soar-ing; Jelly Roll's 1923 "Wolverine Blues" is up-beat and up­tempo. Bass and piano supply almost nuclear energy; Armand J. Piron's 1923 "Mama's Gone, Goodbye" and his 1924 "Purple Rose of Cairo." In "Mama's," Field's clarinet first offers a plaintive cry, then a celebratory call. "Cairo" tells a beautiful story - the piece demands of the trio its very best; Jimmie Noone's 1930 "So Sweet" also challenges the trio - the trio responds with a sensuous performance just as it did on "Purple Rose." The fine "Saturday Night Function" is played at a traditional New Orleans funeral march walkin'-to-the-cemetery tempo. Clarinet leads the way, piano solo is somber, retaining the mood, low register clarinet returns weaving its impassioned cries.
"Am I Blue" is soft and religious. 'Three Little Words" jumps. "Hindustan" is solid in the New Orleans pocket, the piano bristles, the bass spanks, the clarinet responds to the stimu­lus. On "Red light Blues," a growling blues, you can almost hear the dancers doin' the slow drag. Simmons' piano has a real Preservation Hall sound. The string bass gets to play a solo chorus. Gut-bucket blues - the tap root.
Remember, the trio is working without a drummer, so the bass and piano must supply the beat and keep the rhythm flowing. In the few moments when clarinetist Field lets down, the pushing of bassist Knight and power of Simmons' piano playing lift him right back up. The Red Light Trio never de­serts the true New Orleans idiom. There is even a fine set of variations on "Tiger Rag," a good test for any group seeking authentication. The Red Light Trio qualifies.
- Gil Sokobw

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