Chris Barber

Chris Barber in Concert, Vol. 2

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Barely a year separated Chris Barber in Concert, recorded in December 1956, and Chris Barber in Concert, Vol. 2, cut live at Birmingham Town Hall on January 31, 1958. Too, not much had changed in the band in the meantime, save the replacement of drummer Ron Bowden with Graham Burbidge. In fact, both albums open with "Bourbon Street Parade," which had become the bandleader's standard curtain-raiser. But Barber and his group did take the opportunity to otherwise devote the LP wholly to songs that had not been recorded on the first volume, though maintaining their staunchly revivalist traditional jazz approach. Several members of the ensemble got the chance to take the spotlight, with Monty Sunshine doing impressive solo work on clarinet on "Bill Bailey," Pat Halcox's trumpet coming to the forefront on "You Took Advantage of Me," and Ottilie Patterson adding vocals to "Lonesome Road" and "Moonshine Man." The nine-minute arrangement of "The Sheik of Araby" gave the outfit an opportunity to stretch out at twice the length to which they were usually accustomed on disc, while the closing "You Rascal You" offered some of Burbidge's most frenetic drumming and old-timey jazz back-and-forth vocal repartee, the singers' British backgrounds betrayed by their accents.