Graeme Bell

Australian Archive Series: Graeme Bell & His Australian Jazz Band

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Unlike the other Graeme Bell Swaggie LP releases, this one has been reissued on CD (domestically by GHB). The pacesetting Australian trad band is heard on several recording sessions that trace its progress during a ten-month period. 11 of the selections utilize the regular group (pianist Graeme Bell, trumpeter Roger Bell, Ade Monsborough on trombone, trumpet, and clarinet, Don "Pixie" Roberts on clarinet, either Johnny Rich or Deryck Bentley on trombone, and a four-piece rhythm section that includes leader/pianist Graeme Bell). In addition, there are a couple of piano features ("Black and White Rag" and "Maple Leaf Rag") for Bell with the rhythm section. Two numbers ("Jumbuck Jamboree" and "Old Miss Rag") find the band expanding into an 11-piece orchestra. On "Mobile Bay," cornetist Rex Stewart sits in with the usual nonet. Other highlights include "Fidgety Feet," "Sobbin' Blues," "Irish Black Bottom," and "Big Chief Battle Axe." Fans of 1920s revival jazz and Dixieland should have a strong sampling of Graeme Bell's band, for this was one of the finest trad groups of the time period.

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