New Black Eagle Jazz Band

Christmas with the New Black Eagle Jazz Band

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The Massachusetts-based New Black Eagle Jazz Band has been performing regularly and making records since 1972. During its first 24 years it only had one permanent personnel change: Billy Novick (on clarinet and alto) is now in the spot originally filled by Stan McDonald. Also in the band are the somewhat primitive cornetist Tony Pringle (who plays with both spirit and a wide vibrato), the fluid trombonist Stan Vincent, the talented stride pianist Bob Pilsbury, banjoist Peter Bullis, Eli Newberger on tuba and drummer Pam Pameijer. For their Christmas album, the New Black Eagle Jazz Band explores 13 Yuletide classics and the results are quite enjoyable. "Tannenbaum" evolves from a waltz to a stomp and eventually "March Of The Bobcats" (the chord structure is the same), "Blue Christmas" sounds as if it is ready to become a standard, Novick's alto performs the rarely-played verse of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," "Jingle Bells" really swings and even the four musician vocals (three by Pringle and one by Pilsbury) work quite well. Recommended.

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