Here's a fine new offering from England featuring the pianist, Pat Hawes. Some of you will recognize Pat from his appearance on Geoff Cole's "Tribute to Fats Waller" on the same label.
From my limited knowledge of British trad bands, most seem to follow the New Orleans style. This band differs considerably, leaning toward the Chicago and New York styles popularized by Eddie Condon, Muggsy Spanier, Red Nichols and Bud Freeman. I'm truly impressed by the Spanier - like trumpet of Alan Elsdon. Alan has been a major figure in England for decades. This is group of veteran players and a glance at the photographs reveals a lot of gray hair and bald spots. For this reviewer, it's a bit like looking in the mirror.
The band is "hot" and knows their music inside out. Pat Hawes even throws in some fine boogie- woogie on "Sweet Patootie." Elsdon's horn just knocks me out as do the reed solos by Goff Dobber. Trombonist, Mike Pointon really shines on Wild Man Blues and the rhythm section gives a top quality consistent performance throughout the fourteen selections. I'll mention a few tunes to give you a general idea of the content. We are treated to Salty Dog, Minnie the Moocher, Lazy Piano Man, C-Jam Blues, Oh! Peter, See See Rider, Down in Jungle Town, and The Glory of Love. I was unable to find a track where the band didn't play their hearts out. There is a plethora of great talent on this session.
Pat Hawes is a fine player in a multitude of styles including his beloved "stride." His vocals are somewhat reminiscent of the late Clancy Hayes and that says a lot in my book.
I recommend this CD to those of you who love the sizzling sound of "hot jazz." It's been played at least five times in the short time it's resided on my desk.