Thursday, 10 February 2011

Harlem Speaks - Lake Records Label ID. LA 5013

Harlem Speaks   - Lake Records Label ID. LA 5013
Paul Munnery Tmb Leader; MikeTaylor Brian Bates Chris Williams Tpts; Terry Perry Alto Clt; John Osborne Alto Baritone Clt; Bob Caldwell Ten Clt; Fred Brownson Pno; Bruce Jongman Bjo; Alan Robinson Bass; Nick Ward Dms.

Vinyl Condition VG - (Please see pictures for cover condition)

Description from the Sleeve - 

This is HARLEM's second album; and as well as presenting some interpretations of classic jazz performances which we hope you will find entertaining and exciting its release offers an opportunity to recall some of the good things that have happened to the band since the recording of our first album (Lake LA5002).

To single out particular occasions from the numerous appearances is in some ways unfair - all performances are equally important in their own way - but it is worth mentioning the Edinburgh Jazz Festival (1988); the International Duke Ellington Society Conventions (1985 and 1988); a memorable tour of Switzerland (1988); and finally the band's continuing participation in a series of shows entitled "A Night at the Cotton Club" staged at the Barbican Centre and the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

In the latter HARLEM has provided the orchestral backbone to the show accompanying singers Madeline Bell Adelaide Hall Lillian Bouttee and Bertice Reading musicians Bob Wilber Benny Waters and Doc Cheatham and that highly accomplished dance team The Jiving Lindy Hoppers as well as being featured in its own right. One of the most pleasing aspects of playing this show is the experience of bringing authentic vintage big band jazz to large "lay" audiences who may not all be jazz connoisseurs but who are able to enjoy the music for its sheer entertainment value alone.

This goes a long way towards proving the relevance of 1920730s music to 1980790s audiences: as long as it is played with spirit and sparkle people seem to be able to enthuse to the music of any era. From the musicians' point of view there is ample room to be truly creative in the genre - and there is a particular kind of exhilaration in playing hot jazz in a big band setting. It is the excitement that is timeless and beyond convention and which communicates. Bob Wilber generously picked up this point with specific reference to the band in his book Music WAS Not Enough (MacMillan 1987): 'The Harlem musicians didn't learn about jazz at college they studied it by listening to old records ... Harlem got the message and Willie (Cook) and I had a ball playing with them."
We hope that you will enjoy the music on this album and that you will feel inspired to hear the band "live" sometime soon if you haven't been able to do so already.
Paul Munnery.


ID. 100011 - Harlem Speaks   - Lake Records Label ID. LA 5013

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