Chris Barber

Chris Barber in Concert, Vol. 3

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Chris Barber was really firing off concert albums in rapid-fire succession for a while in the late '50s. Chris Barber in Concert had been recorded in December 1956; Chris Barber in Concert, Vol. 2 in January 1958; and Chris Barber in Concert, Vol. 3 followed a mere month after that, in Brighton on March 1, 1958. Fortunately, Barber and his band had a wide enough repertoire to ensure that there was no repetition of tunes between the discs (except for "Bourbon Street Parade," which opens each of the first two volumes). This third volume doesn't differ a lot from what came before; after all, the band had exactly the same personnel as on Vol. 2. It was more retro-trad jazz with a New Orleans bent, though Ottilie Patterson had more vocals on this LP than on the others, singing on four of the nine tracks. Perhaps the group's a little less inhibited in places here than on previous dates; "Rockin' in Rhythm" in particular gives some idea of why British audiences found them so lively at the time (something not immediately evident to many more modern listeners), and "Mama Don't Allow It," with Barber on lead vocal, gives them room for a good eight and a half minutes of interplay and solo tradeoffs. "Majorca" also finds them getting into a more Latin-tinged arena than they usually explored, though on the rest of the set they stuck more to the pattern of early-20th century American jazz (with a little blues) that had characterized their previous recordings.