Folk Barber Style
Chris Barber's Jazz Band with Ottilie Patterson
Vocalion Records, CDLF 8118

At last, the 1965 Decca Album Folk Barber Style has been released on CD by the British record company Vocalion. All the tracks on the original LP are included and the CD box comes with the 1965 LP sleeve notes by Peter Clayton.

As with many other records by Chris Barber, this is not a pure Dixieland CD, but a very fresh jazz CD. You will find 14 very interesting arrangements of popular folk songs. Ottilie's singing is remarkable: she is featured on two wordless vocals, Banks of the Bann and On Top of Old Smokey. In my opinion, these songs are among the best that Ottilie ever recorded. Furthermore, she plays the introduction to Streets of Laredo on a melodica!

All titles have their own individual character and I'm sure they will please both old and new Chris Barber fans. Here are some comments on just a few of the songs:

  • Listen to the Chris Barber version of Midnight in Moscow – quite different from the well-known version of Kenny Ball who enjoyed a major international "hit" in the sixties with this tune.
  • Good Night Irene: Ian Wheeler, very well known for his alto and clarinet playing, is here featured on the soprano sax, an instrument that he should have played more often! An extremely slow and very bluesy song.
  • Note the "jazz" version of Midnight Special, an instrumental and very swinging version of this well known song.
  • Ha, Ha, This A-Way, often played in concerts, but only released on this CD and later in 1980 (CD: Concert '80 - The First Digital Live Recording).

Listen to that special sound of 1965 and enjoy these folks songs, “Barber style”.

Andreas Wandfluh, October 2006

Music: Ha, Ha, This-A-Way || Midnight Special || On Top Of Old Smokey

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