Reprise! - The Church Alley Irregulars
Both sessions on this CD were recorded in February 2004. They have been arranged to present a sort of club-style evening of jazz with the bigger of the two groups doing two short sets divided by an 'intermission' set by the quartet.
The 'Irregulars' feature Norman Thatcher trumpet, Geoff Cole trombone, Brian Carrick and Tone Pyke reeds, Malcolm Hogarth piano, Malcolm Hurrell banjo, Annie Hawkins string bass and Dion Cochrane drums.
Plus an intermission set by Brian Carrick Heritage Jazz Quartet where Brian is joined by Malcolm Hurrell, Bill Cole and Malc Murphy.
Tracks 1-5 13-16 The Church Alley Irregulars
Tracks 6-12 The Heritage Jazz Quartet
1. On the Road to Home Sweet Home
2. Does Jesus Care?
3. The Curse of An Aching Heart
4. Chloe (The Song of the Swamp)
5. Perdido Street Blues
6. At the Cross
7. Forgive Me
8. Smile Darn You Smile
9. Lead Me Saviour
10. I ll Be Somewhere Working for the Lord
11. What a Friend we Have in Jesus
12. When you Wore a Tulip
13. Bugle Call Blues
14. What am I Living For?
15. Swanee River
16. Irregular Blues
Reviews of This Recording
Just Jazz - British Jazz Magazine
Trombonist and record label owner Big Bill Bissonnette (known as “B3”) had long wanted to record the front-line he considered the 'star' front men of British Traditional jazz - Brian Carrick, Geoff Cole, Norman Thatcher and Tony Pyke. In February this year, in Nottingham, he got his chance and managed to back them with an almost equally star-studded rhythm section. The result is exactly what he'd hoped for - two very enjoyable CDs, the contents of which are almost like an intimate evening at your local club with an all-star band the likes of which few, if any, clubs could afford.
The stars are obviously the front-line. Carrick's wonderful, sometimes George Lewis-inspired clarinet and Manny Paul-like tenor, are well-known, but what is often overlooked is that Brian is also one of the finest original lyrical improvisers we have ever had. He's a jazz giant, and we should cherish him. He was on very fine form the two days of this set. Geoff Cole's trombone is equally important to British jazz. Inspired, rhythmic, often lyrical and always full of good taste, he plays for the band and weaves some wonderful musical stories. There are few better than Geoff- indeed, if any. Tony Pyke - on clarinet or alto sax - is almost as equally lyrical and fits well with the others. His clarinet contributions when two clarinets are featured, is masterful. Norman Thatcher's trumpet work is a taste some listeners will need to work on, but he acquits himself well throughout, driving the band with gusto and Kid Thomas-like staccato statements. It is, however, the two reedmen and Mr. Cole who, to me, are the stars here - they drive - they inspire and, above all they play for each other, making intricate patterns that are a great joy to follow.
Let's not, however, forget the super rhythm section, all of whom perform faultlessly throughout what must have been long sessions - they produced 45 tracks after all! I'm not going to single anyone out -they are all stars - to perform at this level with that front-line, they had to be. Question - should you buy these CDs? If you, like me, love Brian Carrick's work, then the answer is yes. If you can only manage one, have the second - to me, the band 'clicks' more on those tracks. Brian Harvey