Bandbox No. 1
Chris Barber's Jazz Band with Ottilie Patterson
Lake Records LACD194
The 33 rpm LP record, Chris Barber's Band Box, Volume 1, was the first studio record from the band since Chris Barber Plays, Volume 4, as well as the first record on the Columbia label, to which Denis Preston's Record Supervision Company had moved from Pye/Nixa. It was also the first in a series of three Bandbox LPs, the others being the ragtime record, Elite Syncopations, followed by Best Yet.
The original LP included twelve tracks, as usual a varied program that mostly emphasized ensemble numbers, but with additional features for Monty Sunshine ("Si Tu Vois Ma Mere") and Ottilie Patterson (accompanying herself on piano on "Squeeze Me"). The new CD reissue includes all of the LP tracks, re-mastered in fine fashion by Paul Adams and Fellside Records (plus an extensive and informative essay by Paul, with contributions from archivist Julian Purser). In addition there are eight bonus tracks, including four from the Ottilie EP for which there was no space on the recent In Barber's Chair, two rare tracks from the same period, and two alternate (superior?) versions of tunes that appeared on the LP but which were re-recorded for release as singles: "Lonesome" -- an inexplicably retitled "Si Tu Vois Ma Mere"-- and "Swanee River".
Bandbox No. 1 is a fine CD and a welcome addition to the reissue catalogue. One final feature worth noting is that it includes the last two tracks recorded while Monty Sunshine was with the band: "Li'l Liza Jane" and a studio recording of "Soudan", which had been recorded earlier that year in concert in Copenhagen and was released on the Chris Barber International, Volume 2 LP (also reissued on the Lake label as part of the Classic Concerts double CD).