Chris Barber

As We Like It

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    7
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This nearly two-hour live performance was filmed live on August 30, 2007 before an invited studio audience at Shepperton Film Studios in England. Leading an 11-person band, Barber -- by this time a veteran with more than five decades as a recording artist to his credit -- concentrates mostly on the traditional, early 20th-century New Orleans-flavored jazz for which he's most known. The straightforward, extremely professional camera work sometimes utilizes split screens as the ensemble does its largely instrumental thing, various members sometimes called upon for solo features, and Barber taking very occasional vocals. Though much of this is Dixieland-type jazz, the band do venture into more modern territory with covers of songs by Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and bluesmen Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, providing a small glimpse of why Barber was considered crucial in fomenting the more innovative, hipper blues/R&B scene in the U,K. His big hit, "Petite Fleur," is naturally included, and Andy Fairweather Low takes guest vocals on "It Takes a Worried Man," "Lay My Burden Down," and "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."

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