The Dime Notes is a young group based in Great Britain although its leader-pianist Andrew Oliver is originally from Oregon. Comprised of Oliver, clarinetist David Horniblow, acoustic rhythm guitarist Dave Kelbie, and bassist Tom Wheatley, the group mostly explores music from the 1920s.
However rather than merely recreating past frameworks and ideas, The Dime Notes build on the original themes during their self-titled debut and add some surprises of their own. In other words, they are creative within the genre. More of a musical democracy, The Dime Notes feature many fine solos from Horniblow, Oliver and Wheatley with Kelbie holding the rhythm section together and getting a few brief spots. The clarinetist’s solos in particular are a consistent delight.
In the band’s repertoire are such obscurities as “Alabamy Bound,” Sidney Bechet’s “Black Stick Blues,” Boyd Senter’s “T’ain’t Clean” and Jelly Roll Morton’s “Turtle Dream,” plus Oliver’s original “Otis Stomp.” But even on such standards as “Ole Miss” and Morton’s “The Pearls,” the music often takes unexpected turns with different rhythms and approaches being utilized.
The musicianship is impeccable, the musicians (who will probably all be household names in the trad jazz world in a few years) are consistently enthusiastic, and their inventive ideas uplift the songs, making The Dime Notes a joy for classic jazz fans.
The Dime Notes (Lejazzetal LJCD 16, 14 selections, TT = 55:48) www.lejazzetal.com