This is a set of recordings of one of Sydney’s perennial jazz bands, recorded in 1989. Reading the liner notes written by Bob Burns, it seems the band was happy to accept all kinds of gigs, not just jazz related. Hence the need for the band to have a wider repertoire than just exclusively jazz, as it played birthday bashes, weddings etc. The need presumably to play background music at some stages and the provide dance music towards the end – the basic fare of any cabaret band!
Tracks on this recording, incidentally recorded by the late Duncan McGuire, that are jazz include: "Moten Swing", "Savoy Blues", "Original Dixieland One Step" and "Limbo Jazz". For the most part these are instrumentals, with respective instruments, trombone, trumpet, clarinet, and/or sax taking turns in soloing.
The others tracks with vocals, of Roger himself, are generally cruisey, laid back standards, viz "Crazy" (the Willie Nelson one); "God Bless The Child", and "Kiss To Build A Dream On". Janes’ voice isn’t one that you would rave about, adequate and the material has been chosen to suit his voice.
The piano of Gary Walford drives along "Moten Swing" and "Swinging The Blues", and ironically on "Guitar Boogie" it’s the piano that does the boogieing not the guitar! The band does mainly traditional Dixieland and New Orleans influenced arrangements.
My favourite tracks are the rocking ones, with electric guitar, "Nee Nee Na Na", "Everybody’s Had The Blues" and "Guitar Boogie".
Recommended for those purveyors of jazz who aren’t too regimented about their jazz preference.
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The Roger Janes Band - Crazy
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