What Do You Want Me To Do? - Norman Thatcher's Ragtime Band
Norman Thatcher was nothing if not versatile. While he made his reputation leading the Ken Colyer Trust New Orleans Jazz Band he is no mere Colyer clone! There is only a touch of Britain's most successful trumpet player in his
style - and that in sublime moderation. In his previous Jazz Crusade releases there have been hints of Bunk - Punch - Mutt. All of these go into the misx that was uniquely Norman Thatcher. So this is an unusual album for him - and indeed for Jazz Crusade - drawing more on Bix Biederbecke than any of the others! But it is hugely successful and enjoyable - with a tantalising mix or instruments and tunes. Why not give it a try?
Personnel: Norman Thatcher trumpet, John Wurr reeds, Hugh Crozier piano, Sarah Roofe banjo, Steve Davis tuba.
At the Cross
A Porter's Love Song
What Do You Want Me To Do
Good Night Sweet Prince
How Great Thou Art
I'm Coming Virginia
That Teasin' Rag
The Sunshine of Your Smile
Fig Leaf Rag
Just One More Chance
Good Night Sweetheart
Reviews of This Recording
Norman Thatcher, leader of the Ken Colyer Trust Band, leads here a compatible and capable quintet through an interesting mix of mainly rags, spirituals and antique popular songs and ballads, appropriate repertoire for the New Orleans idiom. The big surprise in this context lies in the Beiderbecke material.
Thatcher's phrasing, with Bunk clearly the dominant influence, is generally relaxed, contained and understated in the Colyer tradition, but a little too dour, straight-laced and unadventurous for my taste. From Bunk to Bix sounds a quantum leap in style, but to my surprise and pleasure Thatcher makes a very passable fist of the Beiderbecke sound, with an effective pastiche of Bix's playing on Sorry and I'm Coming Virginia (let down somewhat by an unimpressive coda). On Louisiana. quite incredibly, a workable blend of Bunk and Bix emerges in Thatcher's phrasing, improbable as that must sound!
Jazz Hournal International - UK
I was really surpised when I heard this CD. I've always considered Norman Thatcher as a musician strictly in the New Orleans idiom but here he suddenly reveals himself as a Bix Beiderbecke disciple! He is ably assisted by the other players. No trombone no drums. However the music is much more than Bixian. We hear four rags, some spirituals and old black in King Oliver style. But many of the titles come from the Beiderbecke school such as A Porter's Love Song, Sorry I'm coming Virginia. This is not music that makes you jump out of your chair but more easy listening and very well played!
Gerard Bielderman - Old Jazz Express, Netherlands