Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3025: Mainly Morton - Geoff Cole's Red Hot Seven
Geoff Cole [tb], Alan Elsdon [tp], Tony Pyke [rds],
Pat Hawes [pn], Eric Webster [bn/g], Ken Matthews [sbs],
Chris Marchant [dm]
JCCD-3025: Mainly Morton - Geoff Cole's Red Hot Seven
IAJRC Journal - U. S. A.
Bill Bissonnette is the producer of this fine recording by British musicians
brought together by trombonist Geoff Cole to perform tunes that were either
written by Jelly Roll Morton, played by his Hot Five or are performed
here in the style of the Hot Five. Cole is one of the better trombone
players to grace the world today. Alan Elsdon has no peers on the trumpet
and Tony Pyke is splendid on his solos and leads on the clarinet and alto
saxophone. What a front line!
Kings Jazz Review - England
Come October next, it will be 110 years since the birth of Jelly Roll
Morton, pianist, bandleader, composer, performer, improvisor, arranger,
impresario, creator of double-times-breaks-figures (riffs), artificer
of other mentions, but not here, who not only had stated that he was born
five years earlier, but proclaimed that it was he who in 1902 invented
jazz, as has KJR proclaimed that Traditional jazz is England's true musical
culture, so herewith, let anyone with proof refute those utterings.
Geoff Boxell's Jazz Website - New Zealand
Before I say anything else about this CD, let me just get this off my
chest: "this CD is fantastic!" Put three of Ken Colyer's best
sidemen in a band, add premier trumpeter, Alan Elsdon, season with three
excellent players in the rhythm section and you know it has to be good
even before the disc spins. Trombone player Geoff Cole and clarinettist
(though on this album reeds player), Tony Pyke, I believe were the two
front-line players who best complimented Ken Colyer in his New Orleans
style Jazzmen. Here they get to vary their style and play some hot jazz,
though not quite in the way that Jelly Roll Morton would have done it.
According to the cover notes, Big Bill Bissonnette only allowed a quick
rehearsal before launching the band into the session. The way they all
hang together you would never believe that, though Pyke, Cole and pianist
Pat Hawes spent many years together playing with the Gov'nor. That Alan
Elsdon was improvising and not playing to an arrangement I can vouch having
tapes of him working through the opening track with his own band. Big
Bill boasts that he only records 'spontaneous jazz'. This is spontaneous
then, but so smooth and stylish, struth it is good. I won't waste any
more time extolling this CDs worth. Trust me; it is one of the best on
the market and it belongs in every traditional jazz lovers collection.
The only thing that worries me is that the cover pictures show how much
some of my favourite jazzmen have aged. It made my wife wonder if Geoff
Cole is still capable of doing the old soft shoe shuffle he used to do
on stage when he played with Ken in the late 60s.
Jazz Rag - British Magazine
An unusual one, this: a tribute album to Jelly Roll Morton that also
includes non-Morton tunes played by an English band recorded in London
by a Connecticut-based jazz label. Its 16 tracks include classic Morton
compositions like Burnin' The Iceberg, Jungle Blues and Mournful Serenade
as well as some that he merely played (Someday Sweetheart, Beale Street
Blues), some that he only referred to at other sessions (My Gal Sal] and
some that he never recorded at all (Blue Lou and Oh! Baby}'. The set is
purely interpretative, eschewing straight imitation in favour of a swing
approach that retains the flavour of the original while keeping the music
contemporary. It's a wonderful cacophony of rowdy jazz notes from Geoff
Cole and Alan Elsdon (trumpets), Tony Pyke (clarinet and alto sax). Pat
Hawes (piano, and a wonderful soloist on The Animule Ball and Don't You
Leave Me Here), Eric Webster (banjo and guitar). Ken Matthews (string
bass). Chris Marchant (some very steady drums) and a ghostly, archival
Jelly Roll himself on Sidewalk Blues and Dirty Dirty Dirty.These musicians
are much more than competent, and succeed in delivering a real ragtime
Jazz Journal - British Magazine
Good to find recording producer and label owner Bill Bissonnette relaxing,
ever so slightly, his rigidly purist 'spontaneous' approach to New Orleans
jazz on his Crusade albums. He even broke house rules to allow this band
one rehearsal this time in deference to the often detailed structure and
sophistication of Morton's music.
American Rag - U. S. A.
The chief soloists on the 71 minute Mainly Morton disc - trumpeter Alan
Elsdon, clarinetist Tony Pyke, trombonist Geoff Cole and pianist Pat Hawes
- are all established veterans ofthe British Dixieland scene, each of
whom lives up to his enviable reputation on this 11 /2/96 studio date.
The rhythm team - banjo/guitarist Eric Webster, string bassist Ken Matthews
and drummer Chris Marchant - lays down a propulsive thumpy 4/4 that heads
straight for the goal line. Put them together and you've got a first-rate
septet that bows somewhat toward Kid Dry's postwar downtown New Orleans-style
combo as it funks through a well-chosen program of 4 tunes (plus two unaccompanied
solos by Hawes), most of which are from the Morton discography.
AMG **** Review - U. S. Jazz Guide
Eventually dying insensate and alone, Jelly Roll Morton was bombastic,
egocentric, somewhat free with the truth, an unashamed self-promoter -
and nonetheless a true giant of jazz as both a performer and composer.
To honor this jazz pioneer, the Connecticut-based Jazz Crusade label has
brought together a band of top-flight contemporary traditional jazz players
for a Morton tribute session. Mainly Morton includes not only Morton compositions,
but also songs he didn't write but liked to play, as well as songs he
neither wrote nor performed but liked to talk about anyway. The leader
of this fine group is trombonist Geoff Cole, who has been part of England's
jazz scene since the 1950s. Steeped in the musical parlance of traditional
jazz, Cole and his cohorts offer more than 71 minutes of music by Morton
and others. Through the wizardry of modern dubbing techniques, the Jelly
Roll man sings and whistles on some cuts like his "Sidewalk Blues"
and an enthusiastic, humorous "Dirty, Dirty, Dirty." In addition
to capturing the excitement and discipline of a typical Morton-led small
jazz group, Cole's interpretations highlight the fact that the man was
a forerunner in bringing jazz music to a higher level of sophistication
than the genre had heretofore experienced. Listen, for example, to the
complex (for that time) structure of "My Home Is in a Southern Town,"
with its interplay of trumpet, trombone, clarinet, piano, and rhythm section.
Cadence Magazine - U. S. A.
Geoff Cole's Mainly Morion brings us almost four decades down the road
of the music's evolution. In his liner notes, producer Bill Bissonnette
refers to a split within the traditional community between those who dedicate
themselves to faithful renderings of traditional scores, treating the
music as a classical music, and those who use the material for more freewheeling
performances. Yet, the result of these two schools is not always what
you might expect. Those who apply a scholarly be-true-to-your-score approach
often render performances that unveil subtleties in the music that help
listeners hear the originals anew. While those who just use the pieces
as book-ends for^olos often resort to the same hoary formulas, rather
than anything fresh.
Jazzitude.com - U. S. Internet Magazine
Trombonist Geoff Cole is a native of Exeter, England, and has been playing
since the 1950s. After moving to London, Cole landed a position with the
famous Ken Colyer Jazzman group, which he held for 10 years. He joined
Georgia Jazz, later becoming the band's leader, and toured with Brian
White's Magna Jazz Band before forming his own Hot Five. Cole's group
has recorded a number of CDs, including tributes to Jelly Roll Morton
and Fats Waller, but this set, recorded in 1995 at the Pizza Express in
Maidstone, England, is a particularly hot session by the band.