The Chris Barber Jazz & Blues Band:
Barbican Blues (CD re-issue, April 2009).
Lake Records LACD273.
One of my personal favourite recordings has been reissued by Paul Adams on Lake Records: the "Barbican Blues" concert of April 20, 1982 from London. It was the first jazz concert at the newly opened Barbican Centre and featured the Chris Barber Jazz & Blues Band with a great mix of different sounds. This CD is a complete reissue of the stereo double-LP on the Black Lion label (BLM 61003/4, issued in 1982).
Listen to this great mix of sounds: New Orleans standards (such as Bourbon Street Parade, Perdido Street Blues -- in a very stomping and fresh arrangement -- Bugle Boy March, and Basin Street Blues) are alternated with Johnny Hodges’s Good Queen Bess, Robbie Robertson's The Weight/Caledonia Mission from the film Easy Rider, and the marvellous Spanish Castles, a composition by the Swiss jazz musician George Gruntz. A special number, dedicated to the Barbican Centre, Barbican Blues, is based on the harmonic structure of Trouble in Mind and features the interplay of Chris Barber on trombone and Roger Hill on blues guitar.
This is one of those CDs that best demonstrates the musical variety and versatility of the Chris Barber Jazz & Blues Band -- and it also looks ahead to the future development of the band into the present Big Chris Barber Band.
A big thanks to Paul Adams, who once again has done an excellent job with this carefully edited compact disc.
Andreas Wandfluh, April 2009