Chris Barber And His Jazz Band: The Pye Jazz Anthology
Castle Records CMDDD 139, issued in 2001, as a compilation of tracks recorded between 1955 and 1958, and re-released numerous times on various CDs and vinyl LPs, EPs, and singles.
Like the previous CD in this series (The Complete Decca Sessions), the Chris Barber Pye Jazz Anthology (there were similar issues for Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball) is a compilation of tracks selected from the Barber catalogue after Denis Preston arranged for distribution of his company’s output through Pye for release on the Nixa jazz label. Unlike the Decca re-issue, however – which, as its title implies, was a complete set of recordings from one short period in the band’s first months of existence – this Pye compilation samples representative tracks from a longer period of time and from many more original sources, including nine LPs, plus several original EPs and singles.
Overall, this is a reasonably good survey of the band’s output, both in the studio and in concert, over about a four-year period, and would be an ideal overview of the Barber Band’s activities in the mid- to late-50s for newcomers to the band’s music who are looking for a guide as to what to buy in order to build a more complete collection.
Lower down on this page you can listen to samples from several of the tracks – none of which had to be re-recorded for this specific purpose as they also can be found on many other records mentioned elsewhere in the site. You can also see detailed scans of the original source recordings, as well as examples of the many other ways in which various combinations of tracks were originally released, re-packaged in various vinyl formats, and eventually re-issued on CDs not unlike the Pye Jazz Anthology – although in most cases not as comprehensive as the present collection.