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Tasty Jazz by Mart Rodger's Manchester Jazz

Famed British jazz trumpeter Humphrey Lyttelton titled his memoirs I Play As I Please. Mart Rodger & Manchester Jazz might say, "We play whatever appeals to us." The band from Manchester is not tied to any sharply defined genre and the "tune" is all-important. As an example, the band turns out a knockout rendition of Joe "King" Oliver's "Snag It" then crosses the tracks to perform an equally hot reading of Eddie "Daddy" Edwards' "Sensation Rag."

Manchester Jazz is a band of polished musicians playing perfectly structured arrangements. It's also a group that plays happy jazz. You'll find no dirges on this CD. This reviewer was surprised to find a track occupied by Wingy Manone's "Strange Blues." I've loved the haunting melody for decades by Bob Scobey's Frisco Jazz Band of 1955. Mart Rodger penned a fine blues too, in the form of the pretty "Blues For A Viking." The band's bassist, Colin Smith contributes another original titled "Gospel Train" featuring nice solos by the very strong frontline and a vocal by pianist Roger Browne.

Novelty songs are not forgotten when the band attacks "What Do You Mean, You've Lost Your Dog", a tune typical of British music hall traditions. The leader takes the George Formby style vocal.

Tasty Jazz is a fine example of British traditional jazz performed by seasoned veterans who love their jobs. In a few weeks, we'll review more by this exciting band.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Mart Rodger's Manchester Jazz
  • CD Title: Tasty Jazz
  • Genre: Traditional / New Orleans
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Bowstone Records
  • Tracks: Dans Les Rues dAntibes; Snag It; Shimmie Sha Wabble; If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight; Mahogany Hall Stomp; She's Just My Size; What Do You Mean, You've Lost Your Dog; Sensation Rag; Aunt Hagar's Blues; When The Midnight Choo Choo Leaves For Alabam; Blues For A Viking; Weatherbird Rag; Strange Blues; Gospel Train.
  • Rating: Four Stars
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