George Probert

By George! It's Probert in England

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Soprano-saxophonist George Probert (who doubles on alto for this lively set) is best-known as an alumnus of the Firehouse Five Plus Two but he has been a fixture at traditional jazz festivals for decades. On this set he teams up with "Sarah Bissonnette's British All-Stars," a spirited septet of hard-stomping players. The ensemble-oriented music matches together Probert with tenor-saxophonist Bissonnette whose style mixes together early Coleman Hawkins with the shouting trad/r&b of altoist Captain John Handy. Trumpeter Dave Copperwaite, trombonist Geoff Cole and a fine four-piece rhythm section complete the group which is really driven by bassist Ken Matthews (who sometimes recalls Pops Foster). The repertoire contains a few surprises including successful versions of J.C. Higginbottham's "Give Me Your Telephone Number," "Just One More Chance" and "Chloe" along with more conventional standards. Not everything works during the date (there are some mistakes, Copperwaite sometimes falters and the horns occasionally slip out of tune) but the spirit and joy of New Orleans jazz is definitely present and some of the ensembles are quite rambunctious. This fun session is therefore easily recommended to fans of the freewheeling style.

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