Chris Barber

Bestsellers: Chris Barber & Papa Bue's Viking Jazzband

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This very short recording combines five cuts from Chris Barber's Jazzband with seven from Papa Bue's Viking Jazzband. While this was released in 1986, there are no liner notes or other information provided regarding the dates of recording or the nature of the sessions. Were they recorded together? Is this a compilation of unrelated recordings? There is a note on the sleeve that these recordings are not up to the usual standards of fidelity of Storyville Records, but given that caveat, the quality was reasonably good. Any reservations aside, there is some fine Dixieland to be found between the covers of this CD. Trombonists lead both bands, and if anything, these cuts demonstrate the equally strong playing by members of each group. There are very slight differences stylistically, to be sure, but the instrumentation for each is identical. The tunes are, as the title implies, bestsellers such as "Washington Square," "Listen to the Mockingbird," "Down by the Riverside," and "Tiger Rag." There are also traditional tunes performed by Papa Bue such as "Schlafe Mein Prinzchen" and "Silberfäden" that somehow sound just as familiar and appropriate. There is nothing unusual in the performances, as traditional solos are sandwiched between the heads. Yet, there is a simple joy that permeates the numbers, a throwback to earlier times.

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