Chris Barber's New Orleans Jazz Band, Chris Barber's Washboard Wonders, and Chris Barber's Jazz Band: Just About As Good As It Gets

Original Recordings from 1951 to 1957. Issued on a double-CD (SCCD 1140) in 2007 by Smith & Co. Sound & Vision.

Here is yet another in a fairly long line of recent CD reissues of early Chris Barber material. While all of the tracks on the two discs (50 of them in total!) have been (and in most cases still are) available in other compilations, this collection is unique. It spans the first seven years of Chris’s recording activity and brings together material by Chris Barber’s Jazz Band from several original sources and labels, including Decca, Pye-Nixa, Storyville, and Columbia, plus two fairly rare tracks by Chris Barber’s Washboard Wonders and one from the even earlier Chris Barber’s New Orleans Jazz Band.

However, some quibbles ought to be noted: there seems to be no logical order in which the tracks are sequenced, either thematic or chronological; there is no information about personnel or recording dates (in contrast to, say, Paul Adams’s meticulous work for the Lake Records series); and the notes are a bit “thin” and refer to the first Barber LP for Decca as New Orleans Jazz instead of New Orleans Joys.

Still, this CD-set is very reasonably priced (12.45 Euros, £7.98) considering the large number of tracks and some rarities that it contains. It's available via Amazon websites in the UK, Germany, and France.

Ed Jackson
Music: Everybody Loves My Baby || Saratoga Swing || Diga Diga Do || Olga

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