In this column, I regularly cover some of the more significant releases from the Lake label, the top record company in reissuing and compiling sessions from the glory years of the British traditional jazz movement along with sets by other related bands from the 1950s and ’60s.
The Dutch Swing College Band, which was founded by Peter Schilperoort in 1945, is still in existence, having recorded as recently as 2015. The versatile Schilperoort, who played whatever instrument was needed (including clarinet, tenor, baritone, cornet, and guitar), kept the band busy up until his death in 1990 with a repertoire of Dixieland and 1920s standards, some obscurities, and occasional standards. Vol. 2 1950-52 documents the group’s studio sessions from that period.
The octet of 1950-52 featured trumpeter Kees van Dorsser, trombonist Wim Kolstee, and clarinetist Dim Kesber in the frontline along with Schilperoort who helped out on clarinet, baritone, cornet, and even drums on one song. A special treat is hearing the great soprano-saxophonist Sidney Bechet as a guest with the group on “Dutch Swing College Blues” (which Bechet wrote) and “King Porter Stomp.” Otherwise such songs as “Fidgety Feet,” “High Society,” “Original Dixieland One-Step,” and “Them There Eyes” are among the many hot selections that are uplifted by this enjoyable band on this fine release.
Ken Colyer was an important force in British jazz for decades. Inspired by George Lewis and Bunk Johnson, his trumpet playing and his band were a bit more primitive than most British bands of the time but full of honest feeling and pretty adventurous within the genre’s boundaries. Lonesome Road 1957-58 is a double CD that features Colyer in three very different settings. The first four numbers have his septet with clarinetist Ian Wheeler, trombonist Mac Duncan, and pianist Ray Fowley reviving four rarely-performed rags (including “Fig Leaf Rag” and “Kinklets”) in credible if not flawless performances. However the band gets to cut loose on two jazz sessions, giving plenty of spirit to such numbers as “Gatemouth,” ‘Bill Bailey” (which includes the verse), “Swanee River,” “Oh You Beautiful Doll,” “Dinah,” and unusual versions of “All Of Me” and “Over The Rainbow” (the latter taken uptempo). The ensembles are joyous and the solos display plenty of personality.
Colyer was one of the founders of the skiffle movement, occasionally singing blues, folk songs, and country blues while playing guitar with his rhythm section. He is featured in that format on seven songs including “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen,” “Midnight Hour Blues,” and “This Train.” In addition, the twofer concludes with an influential session by Ken Colyer’s Omega Brass Band which is considered the first New Orleans style brass band recordings by a British group. The 11-piece band plays very much in the tradition on such numbers as “Panama,” “Tiger Rag,” “Over In Gloryland,” and “Bugle Boy March” and the results are consistently exciting, wrapping up an excellent all-round overview of Ken Colyer during one of his peak periods.
For Online Only Access without delivery of the print paper sign up below.
If you'd like the PRINT EDITION, (12 monthly issues) use the following PayPal link. After your payment is complete you will be allowed to create an online account. You will receive the next mailed copy, usually shipping around the 22nd of the month. See a PDF Sample Here.