Acrobat Music

Groovin High - Jam Session at The Hopbine 1965
Groovin High - Jam Session at The Hopbine 1965

Various Artists
Styles: Jazz
Catalogue Number: ACMCD4393
London in the mid-Sixties was well acknowledged to be a musical crucible. As all manner of stylistic ingredients got thrown into the mix, it wasn't uncommon to find jazz musicians crossing the line to work in R&B bands and young pop stars in turn embracing jazz. For open-eared players, it was a boom time, both inside the studio, where their session men skills propped up many a lesser talent and outside, gigging in the sprawl of the capital’s many suburban jazz clubs. This previously unreleased recording presents what is, in essence, a microcosm of those times. Taped at North Wembley's legendary jazz mecca, The Hopbine, and centred upon that most traditional of formats – the jam session – the featured cast list makes this set anything but a dull tread over old pub-jazz ground. Take the front-line; alto saxophonist Ray Warleigh and trombonist Chris Pyne, then both in their mid-twenties, were among the most exciting new voices on the UK jazz scene, then both broadening their outlooks in the bands of blues-guru Alexis Korner and avant-garde pioneer John Stevens. The rhythm section was just as hard to pigeon-hole; a dyed in the wool straightahead modernist whose work already included a stint with Brit-Jazz legend Don Rendell, pianist Johnny Burch had nevertheless recently penned a B-Side for Georgie Fame, while Ron Mathewson, then still a member of the Dixieland band of Alex Welsh, was already making waves as one of the UK's most adventurous young modern jazz bassists. Added to this youthful unit is veteran tenor saxophonist Red Price, a musician rare among his generation; a player who'd not only proved his mettle in the big band of Ted Heath but who had quickly embraced the language of rock and roll in the 1950s, becoming one of Britain's leading session men, able to fit in virtually every musical context from Lord Rockingham's XI to Frankie Vaughan. The music these men made together on this night in 1965 may not be earth shattering or prophetic, yet it captures a snapshot of an era long gone – when great individual improvising voices were prepared to forget their own artistic bias and get together on a pub stage to address the business of swinging, no-holds barred, jazz. In stunning sound and packaged with a booklet note by award-winning saxophonist and author Simon Spillett, this is an album as unpretentious and enjoyable as it is historic. (70 minutes plus)

Disk 1:
Track Title Artist
1 Billie's Bounce Red Price, Ray Warleigh & Chris Pyne with the Johnny Burch Trio
2 All The Things You Are Red Price, Ray Warleigh & Chris Pyne with the Johnny Burch Trio
3 Alexander's Ragtime Band Red Price, Ray Warleigh & Chris Pyne with the Johnny Burch Trio
4 Groovin' High Red Price, Ray Warleigh & Chris Pyne with the Johnny Burch Trio
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