Ottilie Patterson with Chris Barber's Jazz Band, Blues Book And Beyond (2011 reissue of Chris Barber's Blues Book, Volume 1, with bonus tracks).

Lake Records LACD 296, released in March 2011.

A new CD with rare recordings as well as previously unissued material has reached the Chris Barber website and archive team at the beginning of March 2011. Paul Adams of Lake Records has compiled a very interesting compact disc, documenting the great musical diversity of Ottilie Patterson between the years 1958 and 1961.

The first twelve titles comprise a complete re-issue of the original Columbia recording Chris Barber's Blues Book, Volume 1, a 12-inch LP recorded and released in 1960. These twelve songs were re-issued by BGO Records in 1997 on a CD together with the 1964 album Good Mornin' Blues; however, they have remained comparatively rare items, so we are very happy to have the complete Columbia recordings once again on a widely available CD.

The original LP
Ottilie Swings the Irish

My personal favourites of the first twelve titles are Kidman Blues and Backwater Blues. Backwater Blues is an absolutely fantastic duet between Ottilie's vocal and Pat Halcox's muted trumpet. Blues Before Sunrise is another great duet, this time with Ottilie and Chris on trombone. Lord it Hurts So Bad and Only The Blues feature – besides Ottilie – Keith Scott on piano, Alexis Korner on guitar, and the Barber rhythm section of 1961 (Eddie Smith, Dick Smith, and Graham Burbidge). Squeeze Me has been recorded several times. This piano/vocal version, however, is slightly different from the previously-issued version (recorded on the same day) and which can be found on Lake CD LACD194, Chris Barber Bandbox, Volume 1.

A wonderful Ottilie EP has also been reproduced. Ottilie Swings The Irish – all four tracks are on this new CD. It is a fond memory for me personally as it was the first "Ottilie only" EP I bought in 1962 in Berne, Switzerland (and I still own it!). Tracks 20 to 23 are versions of songs that have not been issued before. Very interesting are Sobbin' Hearted Blues and Monty Sunshine's Burgundy Street Blues with Ottilie singing!

The sound quality of this CD is excellent: Paul Adams has, as usual, put a great deal of work into carefully restoring this historic material. Thanks Paul – and we look forward to many more reissues from the early Barber catalogue.

Andreas Wandfluh, March 2011

Music: Back Water Blues || Blues Before Sunrise || Burgundy Street Blues || Kidman Blues || Sobbin' Hearted Blues
Click on the thumbnails below to see enlarged versions of the CD inserts:
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