Bob Barnard

Bob Barnard Presents Oz Originals

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Venerable Australian cornet player Bob Barnard has gathered together a roster of tunes by his fellow countrymen, who were invited to play them on this enjoyable release. Most of the composers/performers aren't all that well known in the United States, but they still have the essential ingredients -- and more -- to be rated as A-one jazz composers and performers. The music on this album coincides with Barnard's jazz preferences -- swing, blues, ragtime, and traditional. Appearing on the CD is Graeme Bell, who is revered by many as a founding father of Australian jazz; in 1949, he put together Swaggie, one of the country's topmost jazz labels. A piece of stride by John Sangster kicks off the album, with Chris Taperell handling the piano. Sangster is recognized as a leading player of spontaneous improvised music. One of the joys of this album is the trombone of Ed Wilson. His distinctive, concaved sound enlivens such cuts as "Blues for Borimir" and "Stribbo," a slow, blues-tinged piece by Barnard. The talking muted trombone is the highlight of "Dawn Over Eurora." Another fine performer whose music is included is Don Burrows, a major reed player in the country down under. His tenor is featured on "Love Is What You Make It," and his clarinet is on "Sango." None of the compositions found here are breakthroughs or are likely to become jazz classics. Some are little more than head arrangements. Nonetheless, they are played very well by accomplished jazz artists, are fun to listen to, and expose U.S. fans to the good jazz going on in Australia. Recommended.

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