Jazz Sacred And Secular
Chris Barber's Jazz Band
LP: Columbia 33S 1112

Late 1954 and early 1955 seems to have been a very busy period for the fledgling Chris Barber's Jazz Band, including two major (and now almost legendary) concerts at the Royal Festival Hall, the latter of which marked the first public appearance on record at least of Ottilie Patterson, plus a visit to Denmark, which also produced some concert recordings that are still available. There were many studio recordings as well, originally released on four labels: Decca, Pye/Nixa, Storyville, and Columbia reminiscent of the multi-label recordings, often of the same tunes and even on the same day, that Duke Ellington made in the late 1920s.

Just ten tracks were released by Columbia on the famous but rare 10-inch LP, Jazz Sacred and Secular, a record that illustrates the tremendous versatility of the band, even at this early stage, with four Ellington numbers, four spirituals, a folk song, and a popular song, and featuring two vocals by Lonnie Donegan. In addition to the LP, most of the recordings were also issued on four-track, seven-inch EPs, such as Going To Town, shown to the left. They were also re-issued at one time on a Dormouse CD, which is no longer available, but fortunately Lake Records put out a CD, Vintage Chris Barber, in 2006, which includes all of the original tracks, plus much more from the same period. Eight of the tracks were also included on The Best Of Chris Barber's Jazz Band. Lovely recordings: a must for every Barber fan's collection!
Personnel: Pat Halcox (trumpet), Chris Barber (trombone), Monty Sunshine (clarinet), Lonnie Donegan (banjo and guitar), Jim Bray (bass), Ron Bowden (drums).
Record details: See the cover scans for more details about Jazz Sacred And Secular.
Music: Going To Town
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