Chris Barber's Jazz Band + Ottilie Patterson:
Recordings made between 1960 and 1962, and originally released on various LPs and EPs; Compact disc prepared for release on the Philips label in 1989 but never issued.
The late Julian Purser told me about the existence of this CD some years ago, when I first met him. He said that the CD consisted of recordings by the Chris Barber Band from the early 1960s, and that it had been compiled and manufactured by the Philips company of Holland but had never been distributed. All the copies were stored in a warehouse somewhere in Europe and would be unlikely to see the light of day. As something of a "completist" with regard to my Barber collection, I was pleased to find a promotional copy recently offered for sale by a dealer from Italy on eBay, and of course I snapped it up immediately.
This would have been a great CD to have owned five or more years ago, as almost none of the tracks had ever appeared on compact disc at that time, and the collection also included what were then four tracks that had never been issued in any format. Fortunately, Lake Records has, in the last few years, released two CDs which together, and with one exception, contain all of the tracks from Trad Tavern: these are In Barber's Chair and Best Yet! The remaining track, "Backwater Blues", sung by Ottilie Patterson, is one of the few tracks on the CD recorded before Monty Sunshine left the band and was replaced by Ian Wheeler, and this number, too, can now be found elsewhere, on the Blues Book/Good Morning Blues CD.
That said, this is a nice collection and I'm sure it would have been a success had it not been withheld from release two decades ago.
Ed Jackson, May 2009