Session 1 was recorded in 1995 and features Chris 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 jazzman who has played his final bar.