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 it’s 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 Crusade’s Big Bill Bissonnette
asked if he could release it on his label. The Hot Five’s 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 Woon’s Vintage Hot Five.
Both leader Geoff Cole
and reedman Tony Pyke
are veterans of the Ken Colyer
band. The leader’s 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. I’m often reminded of Australia’s great sax-man Lazy Ade Monsbourgh
when I listen to Pyke.
The quintet’s 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 pianist’s 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 Lombardo’s Sweethearts On Parade
. Fans of this fine British band will like the new CD. It’s a nice loose session!