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The Very Best Of

Kenny Ball

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Album Review

The Kenny Ball Show was the first live album for Kenny Ball & His Jazz Band, capturing the Dixieland band in excellent form and sound, in a very vividly recorded concert performance from the Empire Theatre, Liverpool, before a capacity crowd of 3,500. The band — Ball on trumpet, Ron Weatherburn on piano, Vic Pitt on bass, Dave Jones on clarinet, Paddy Lightfoot playing banjo, John Bennett on the trombone, and Ron Bowden playing the drums — is in excellent form and good spirits, their ebullience inspiring some superb solos. It's difficult to pick a highlight out of a set like this, but if forced to choose, this reviewer would go with the rendition of "Basin Street Blues" done successfully in a darker mode than one believed this group to be capable of working in. The sound is excellent as well, making this one of the best recorded live albums of its period in any popular music idiom.


Born: 22 May 1930 in Ilford, Essex, England

Genre: Jazz

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

Kenny Ball will always be associated with his huge 1961 hit "Midnight in Moscow," cut in the days when it was possible for a Dixieland song to make it onto the charts. He started playing trumpet at age 15 and gained experience playing in the bands of Charlie Galbraith, Eric Delaney, and Sid Phillips. In 1958, he formed his own group and quickly became a leader in Britain's trad jazz movement. "I Love You Samantha" was his first hit, and after "Midnight in Moscow"...
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The Very Best Of, Kenny Ball
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