Chris Barber

COMPOSERS: Chris Barber
LABELS: Classic Studio
ALBUM TITLE: Can’t Stop Now
PERFORMER: Chris Barber (trombone & vocals), Andrew Fairweather-Low (vocals),
Chris Barber Band
CATALOGUE NO: T Ð 5048X
It seems appropriate that this disc from UK jazz stalwart Chris Barber was remastered at Shepperton Studios, also a surviving name from pre-Beatles Britain. Trombonist Barber, now 77, who anticipated pop’s impact on the jazz scene, has long steered a course embracing the blues elements of jazz. In this mix of unreleased live takes dating back to the ’80s, Barber’s trad jazz anthem ‘Petite fleur’ and trademark trombone-slide homages to New Orleans, share a billing with the bluesy vocals of Amen Corner’s Andy Fairweather-Low.

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A highlight is ‘Big Noise from Winnetka’, a riveting 10-minute bass marathon from Vic Pitt, with mandatory drumsticks on strings, which breaks into Cream’s ‘Sunshine of Your Love’. Although purists may prefer vintage Barber recordings, the performances here have a rawness that amply reflects Barber’s enduring live success.

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Neil McKim