Ken Colyer

The Sunny Side of Ken Colyer

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Trumpeter Ken Colyer sounds fine on this 1994 CD (which released a 1972 performance for the first time), but he was just beginning to show his age at the time, playing clipped phrases and seeming to ration himself a bit. Colyer is joined by Sammy Rimington (on clarinet and alto) and trombonist Barry Palser to form a decent frontline. Unfortunately the rhythm section (pianist Ray Smith, banjoist Stu Morrison, bassist Allan Jones and drummer Colin Bowden) is a bit wooden and inflexible, clanging away without generating much swing. Still, the ensembles and Colyer's solos on such numbers as "Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula," "Royal Garden Blues" and "You Always Hurt the One You Love" make this a worthwhile if not essential acquisition for trad jazz collectors. Still, the trumpeter's 1950s recordings are recommended first.

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