Chris Barber

Chris Barber Plays, Vol. 2

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Pye was pumping out a lot of live and studio product by Chris Barber in the mid- to late-'50s, and there wasn't too much to differentiate this six-song, 10" LP from the others he and his band issued on the label at the time. It was notable, however, for containing the final sessions they did with banjoist Lonnie Donegan, who took off for a phenomenally successful solo career in the wake of his "Rock Island Line" hit single. On this album, however, he just plays banjo, with every track an instrumental save "We Shall Walk Through the Valley," on which guitarist Dickie Bishop (and not Donegan) takes vocals. The cuts take the typical Barber mid-'50s approach: well-executed but staid New Orleans-style traditional jazz, mimicking the sound of American jazz from three or four decades past. They were able (by 1956 standards, anyway) to cut some long arrangements, a couple of the tunes falling between the five- and six-minute mark. There was just one original, but it was a highlight of the release, that being clarinetist Monty Sunshine's haunting "Hushabye," which has an almost gypsy-ish melody.