Pub Session - Live - Geoff Coles Hot 5
Jazz Review - Internet Jazz Publication
Geoff Coles Hot Fives and Sevens appear here for their
fifth Jazz Crusade CD. Past disks have honored specific musicians including
Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton and Kid Ory. The Pub Session differs in
that its an off the wall glimpse of the popular band
in front of their regular fans. The nine-tune gig was taped by an enthusiastic
fan who then presented the recording to the leader. The 2000 session was
almost forgotten until Jazz Crusades Big Bill Bissonnette asked
if he could release it on his label. The Hot Fives regular drummer,
Brian Dipper Duddy was out of town and the very capable Johnny
Muxlow filled the drum throne for the evening. Muxlow is a regular with
Andy Woons Vintage Hot Five.
Both leader Geoff Cole and reedman Tony Pyke are veterans of the Ken Colyer
band. The leaders trombone style is loose, powerful and witty. Geoff
Cole obviously adored the late Kid Ory. Tony Pyke is a warm-toned and
ceaselessly swinging reedman. Im often reminded of Australias
great sax-man Lazy Ade Monsbourgh when I listen to Pyke.
The quintets regular pianist Hugh Crozier and bassist Graham Wiseman
are extremely strong performers. The piano and bass sound surprisingly
bright for a live club recording. Hastily arranged club recordings often
muddy-up these instruments. Nothing could ever muddy-up the pianists
vibrant solos. Crozier is a band unto himself.
The band romps their merry way through nine jazz standards including great
versions of Birth Of the Blues , Stars Fell On Alabama and Carmen Lombardos
Sweethearts On Parade. Fans of this fine British band will like the new
CD. Its a nice loose session!
- Richard Bourcier
Boxells Jazz Website - New Zealand
The other week I had to drive to and from Auckland, about 2 hours or
so each way. Having started off I found I had only the CD in the player
with me. First time round it was good, second time round and I had had
enough. The return journey was in silence as I neither wanted to listed
to the CD again, nor put up with the bland, banal, banter (or sometimes
crude, childish, chatterings) of the radio jocks who think that they,
not the music, is why people have tuned into their radio station (which
frequently need re-tuning as you travel through the hills from one area
to another anyway). Now, if I had had this CD with me it would not have
been a problem as you can stick it on and let it run for hours knowing
that you will never get bored with listening to it. I know that as it
has been in my CD player for the past two weeks and I must have listened
to it 10-15 times without having any other music in between and I have
yet to get tired of listening to it. The only reason I am going to change
it in fact is that I have other CDs to review and must therefore move
My admiration for Geoff Cole and Tony Pyke goes back to when they played
together in Ken Colyers Jazzmen. Geoff Cole is, in my opinion, todays
foremost traditional jazz trombonist. In reedsman Tony Pyke Cole has his
perfect partner; man they have been together so much they are almost married
and like a good married couple know each others thoughts and intentions
instinctively. On the CD you get a solo from Geoff Cole on Stars
Fell On Alabama which allows him to demonstrate his inestimable
skills and inventiveness. Tony Pyke only gets to play clarinet on one
track, China Boy, the rest of the time he is on alto sax,
which, given the two man front line, isnt a bad thing; Tony is one
of the few who can play both instruments distinctly in that, on alto he
plays as a saxophonist, and on clarinet as a clarinettist, excelling in
both roles. In his sleeve notes Geoff says that he is delighted that the
recordings allow the listener to experience the dynamic bass playing of
Graham Wiseman; Id like to second that. Id also like to compliment
pianist Hugh Crozier, who I have admired for some time. The drummer, John
Muxlow, was a ring in for the night. I havent heard him before but
took to him straight away as he sounds like a house trained
Mad Malc Murphy.
The recordings come from a pub session at the Rutland Arms, Catford, Kent
and were originally sent to Jazz Crusade so that the label had an idea
of how the Hot 5 played at their normal club sessions rather than the
styles used for the tribute CDs that they had earlier recorded
for the label. Such is the quality of the recordings that Crusade have
now put them out on this CD; and so they should, as both the music and
the quality of the recording are so high that I had to attach a piece
of string to my copy to stop it floating to the ceiling.
- Geoff Boxell
Kings Jazz Review British
Jazz Internet Publication
I can recall sitting in the Rutland when the then new Patron of the pub
engaged his first jazzband there. Trouble is, I cant remember the
long ago date of that event. The sound quality is great under the circumstances,
and that goes with thanks to recording engineer Crazy Ken for his efforts;
trouble is that I also cant remember of him, however, Geoff Cole
in his liner notes explains all.
I knew Geoff and Tony from away back in the Eel Pie Island and the Star
Hotel in Croydon days; those were the days - friends, when they played
with Ken Colyer, a trumpeter of great importance, in particular to the
British, New Orleans and Traditional jazz fans and musicians, who sadly
is no longer with us - trouble is that I havent heard Geoff and
Tony play live since ages ago, so this album becomes an eye-opener of
I knew Hugh and Graham when they played in the Bill Brunskill band at
the famous Lord Napier pub in Thornton Heath, situated near Croydon in
Surrey, England. Sadly trumpeter, bandleader Bill is no longer with us,
but, I'm pleased to say that the Lord Napier pub still features traditional
jazz there to this very day.
The Birth of the Blues reveals wa-wa, trombone blues specialities
at their gender best. Geoff sings on Please Dont Talk About Me When
Im Gone combining this with a very nice talking trombone
featuring a complementary slap tapping strong string bass working in a
delightfully lengthy time-span tune, ending with a cornet sounding trombone
giving infinite pleasure to that then lucky English pub audience.
In Everywhere You Go piano fingers are making keys contact wherever they
go stretching over the breadth of the hammer contraption instrument to
great perfection, and ambience of the tune on a good sounding piano, mercifully
in suave contrast to the poor pub types of years previous to this millennium
year recording. The clarinet is in rich control of the China Boy number.
Delicate cymbals, wood blocks, or rim shots are sensitively very much
in harmony with the Hot 5, being the first chance of hearing the Muxlow
drumming, gives a clear conscious chance that here is an altoist producing
an unique style to call his own, commensurate with the very sound that
he produces on clarinet such that followers of this jazz artist can immediately
recognise of him as is determined by My Buddy an example tune that tells
me so. Stars Fell On Alabama well what can I say - it's truly beautifully
beautiful, here played by a star jazz artist of the trombone, one Geoff
Cole, and, can I make comparisons? - well not really, for there are none,
even after hearing Jack Teagarden sing and play on Play Me The Blues commissioned
in 1944 for the US Government. This is a very fine pleasurable Hot 5 jazz
music group so too to listen to.
- Ian King
JUST JAZZBritish Jazz Magazine
When this CD first arrived for review I thought, "Oh dear - a two-piece
frontline," as memories of similar line-ups, who didn't have the
wit to vary their approach and provide the listener with tonal variety,
made me half expect to have an unpleasant and boring listening experience.
But in being worried about what I was about to hear I hadn't accounted
for the excellent jazz musicianship of the two men involved here - Geoff
Cole on trombone and Tony Pyke on reeds (mainly alto sax).
And it's not only the two front men who make this CD a pleasing, happy
listening experience without a hint of boredom. Pianist Hugh Crozier is
absolutely brilliantly inventive throughout, and not only in his solos
- his intelligent interplay with the frontline is an object lesson in
how it should be done. Bassist Graham Wiseman is also heard to great advantage.
We usually hear Graham within full bands, and his big sound and great
rhythmic sense is all too often lost - swamped by banjos and 'bomber'
drummers. But here, as I say, he proves what a stalwart he is. And drummer
John Muxlow - drafted in for the night because regular Brian 'Dipper'
Duddy was unavailable - is fine and gently propulsive.
It is, however, the highly inventive front-line which is a great joy here
- they vary what they are 'saying' and how they say it, and you never
get bored. On the contrary, each track is another fascinating insight
into how entertaining, intelligent jazz musicianship can be. And both
Geoff and Mr. Crozier take fine vocals which help add to the overall variety.
This is a good, enjoyable CD - if Geoff's Hot 5 come my way for a live
show, I'll be first in line.
- Brian Harvey
Cadence MagazineU. S. Jazz Magazine
What is "mainstream" today? Certainly not what it was 50 years
ago. Back then would have qualified; now it is a part of a tradition outside
of the present common vernacular. The stream has passed this music by;
but that is not to say that a thoughtful listener should discount what
is being created in this vein, if it is well done. Quite the contrary.
Take this release, for example. Trombonist Geoff Cole offers a set of
spirited versions of some very classic material. Mr. Cole has been on
the traditional Brit scene for quite some time, first making a name for
himself with trumpeter Ken Coder's band in the early '60s.
The pub session recorded here features an appropriately loose feel. Cole's
style synthesizes the Kid Dry tailgate trombone with a little of Tricky
Sam Nanton's plunger, maybe a hint of J.C. Higgenbotham, and the slightest
tinge of Jack Teagarden. The front line of trombone and alto sax or clarinet
gives Mr. Cole ample space and reed-man Tony Pyke's alto is appropriate
to the period; he is an interesting stylist in his own right-with the
slightest bit of Bechet, a touch of Johnny Hodges, perhaps even a shade
of Frankie Trumbauer. There are several vocals that can best be described
as of the functional "band vocal" kind; they convey a good-timey
feel that the pub crowd no doubt enjoyed. All in all, this may not quite
have the focus and sharpness of Cole's earlier Do What Kid Oty Say release
for the label (JCCD-3013] but the injection of Tony Pyke's alto compensates.
If you like solid traditional trombone as I do, this album will please.
Jazz Gazette—Internet Jazz Magazine
This is an easy one to review. Take five experienced musicians talking the same musical language, put them in the congenial atmosphere of a pub in front of an appreciating audience and let them do their thing the way they love to and the results will speak for themselves. This is the kind of jazz I like, the real thing. No pyrotechnics, no virtuoso running up and down the scale without going somewhere, but just a friendly interplay between kindred spirits without any intention of someone outplaying the other one. The improvisations are based on the melody which is never far away.
Both horns have been playing together many times before. From 1965 on both were members of the Ken Colyer band. Later on their musical paths diverged. They were brought together again by Bill Bissonnette for the tribute to Kid Ory CD (Do What Ory Say JCCD-3013) in 1995. Several other Jazz Crusade albums followed. It was Geoff Cole and Big Bill who persuaded Tony Pike to take up the alto-sax again after a long time of clarinet playing only. I’m glad he did! Tony sounds just as fine on the sax as on the clarinet. In fact on this CD he plays only clarinet on one track. Although both Geoff and Tony are experienced New Orleans style players, I wouldn’t call the music on this CD New Orleans jazz. It goes more in the direction of the small groups of the twenties and thirties and the proper name would be “classic jazz”.
Add to this fine front-line a dynamic rhythm section with the two-fisted piano playing of Hugh Crozier, the powerful bass of Graham Wiseman and the light and exuberant drumming of John Muxlow, a last minute replacement for the regular drummer Brian “Dipper” Duddy. The fact that there are only 9 songs on this 62 minutes CD means that everyone has the time to express himself fully. Although this is a live recording, the sound quality is excellent. If you enjoy happy, swinging classic jazz by some of today’s best players, you should add this one to your collection without a shadow of a doubt.
Jazz Journal International—British Jazz Magazine
Resisting the temptation to emulate the earthier New Orleans classics in the clar-inet-and-trombone format, Geoff Cole fronts a smoothly sonorous and lightly swinging group in which the particular talents of all concerned are joined into a cohesive whole. Geoff himself remains at the legato end of his admiration for Kid Ory, leading the way with crisp eloquence. Tony Pyke constructs melodious lines on the alto saxophone and warbles appealingly on clarinet, while Hugh Crozier's elegant and educated piano playing is a considerable asset. Bass and drums maintain a sprightly and inventive rhythm, and the whole has a high good humour about it which the occasional singing does nothing to diminish. This music does not make any heavy demands upon one's ears or emotions, but in its relatively laid back way it makes for very satisfying listening. The recording is good and the audience unobtrusive although clearly appreciative. Now they can enjoy the evening again, and we can enjoy it too.
place an order? Click here for info.