Chris Barber's Jazz & Blues Band with Special Guest Ken Colyer, New Orleans Parade

Lake Records LACD 293, released in November 2010.

New Orleans Parade is an “unexpected” compact disc from Lake Records: as Paul Adams points out in his notes, Chris Barber sent the tapes of a 1984 concert to him “out of the blue”, suggesting that they would make a worthwhile and historically important CD. This was largely because the eight-piece Chris Barber’s Jazz & Blues Band of the time was joined on-stage by Ken Colyer, with whom of course Chris had played in Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen in 1953 and 1954.

The concert, which took place on December 16, 1984, was recorded at the St. Ivo Centre, St. Ives, Cambridgeshire. It begins with two “Parade Band” tracks featuring the full band along with Colyer, and then continues in somewhat more formal pieces with Ken as lead trumpeter while Pat Halcox stepped aside. The last track on the CD is also a “Parade Band” feature, Dr. John’s All On A Mardi Gras Day.

Although there is little that is new on the CD in terms of the tunes played, it is in fact a most enjoyable record and one well worth purchasing. An obvious sense of relaxation and camaraderie comes through clearly on every track, resulting not only in a new sound for old classics like The Sheik Of Araby and Goin’ Home, but also many solos in which the band members seem to be casting off the normal confines of arrangements and solos on much-played tunes. This is particularly evident in Breeze, for which we have provided an edited combined clip featuring Ken’s trumpet lead, his vocal, and part of a most enjoyable solo by John Crocker on tenor sax.

Music: Breeze || Weary Blues
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