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The Other Parlophones 1951-1954

Humphrey Lyttelton

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Album Review

The phrase "trad jazz" is officially applied to the old-fashioned sort of New Orleans-inspired music that was cooked up by British traditionalists during the 1950s and 1960s. Sackville's delightful The Other Parlophones 1951-1954 is one definitive trad jazz compilation. This Humphrey Lyttelton material holds up marvelously when compared with Lu Watters & His Yerba Buena Jazz Band, Bob Scobey's Frisco Band, or even Kid Ory's Good Time Jazz recordings from the mid-'50s. A number of the songs heard on this disc were composed by trumpeter Lyttelton, pianist Graeme Bell, banjoist Norman "Bud" Baker, and other bandmembers. There's also quite a dose of bedrock classic jazz material composed by W.C. Handy, Jelly Roll Morton, Kid Ory, Fats Waller, and Hoagy Carmichael. Note the presence of vocalist Marie Bryant on "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Beale Street Blues," "Georgia on My Mind," and "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams." Although she possessed a lovely voice, she made hardly any recordings — her entire legacy consists of these four tracks, two 78-rpm sides from the 1940s, a calypso date for the Lyragon label, and her appearance in the 1994 film Jammin' the Blues. Speaking of calypso, "Original Jelly Roll Blues" and "King Porter Stomp" are both rendered in a manner worthy of a Mardi Gras celebration as the percussionists play bongos, congas, maracas, and claves. Indeed, the Caribbean flavor of New Orleans music is lovingly conveyed in a rhumba called "Apples Be Ripe"; a calypso celebration of "Fat Tuesday"; a tango-habañera exercise by pianist Mike McKenzie entitled "Mike's Tangana," and "Mamzelle Josephine," a delicious island dance number sung in Creole French and closely patterned on "Salee Dame," an authentic New Orleans recording made in 1947 by Albert Nicholas, James P. Johnson, Danny Barker, Pops Foster, and Freddie Moore. Lyttelton's version is a mighty close cover. Altogether an outstanding reissue bringing together for the first time the early-'50s recordings of the Bell-Lyttelton Jazz Nine; Lazy Ade's Late Hour Boys; the Bell-Lyttelton Jazz Twelve; the Bell-Lyttelton Jazz Ten; the Bell-Lyttelton Jazz Nine; the Grant-Lyttelton Paseo Jazz Band; Marie Bryant with the Mike McKenzie Quartet, and Humphrey Lyttelton with the Melody Maker All Stars. First-rate old-fashioned entertainment!


Born: 23 May 1921 in Eton, Buckinghamshire, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The grand old man of British jazz, trumpeter and bandleader Humphrey Lyttelton spearheaded the postwar trad jazz revival before renouncing the movement in favor of more contemporary and restless creative vision. A larger-than-life figure, he also excelled as a writer and cartoonist, and for decades was a fixture of radio, serving as the hilariously deadpan host of the long-running I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue. Born in Eton on May 23, 1921, Lyttelton was the product of a distinguished and wealthy family...
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The Other Parlophones 1951-1954, Humphrey Lyttelton
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