The Lost Tapes
No.2 - Smoky City Jazz - Exactly Like Us

 

The second tape to listen to, is one by Smoky City Jazz entitled "Exactly Like US", and date of recording is unknown. It's Volume 1, so an early recording, although I don't think it's the  first by the band originally formed by Tony Foulkes in 1965 and eventually led by Sheila Collier. Maybe somebody could tell me when it was recorded.
 

Exactly Like Us



THE SMOKY CITY LINE-UP

Bill Smith, Leader - Comet & Vocals Bill has been the leader of the Smoky for many years. He's a hot player and a natural leader for this sort of band. Bill's blowing is characterised by skill, sensitivity and joie de vivre - he knows how the job should be done and tackles it head on. His vocals have long been a feature of the band's repertoire.

Bob Jones, Drums Bob has played drums with the Smoky since the earliest days of the sixties formation of the band. An immaculate sense of timing and dynamics together with an instinctive support for the front line, make him one of the best drummers in the north, Known as 'The' Bob Jones, his self-effacing manner belies his quiet determination to make things swing.

Peter Watt, Guitar Peter's musical roots lie closer to the modern school of playing. This, combined with his encyclopaedic musical knowledge, mature blues feeling and strong sense of swing make him unique in a Dixieland line-up so often dominated by banjos. Pete's solo work is heard to good effect in 'I'm in the Market For You'.

Mike Pembroke, Trombone An experienced bandleader in his own right, Mike plays Chicago style trombone, free flowing and with a strong feel for the idiom. His extensive record collection gives him insight into the playing of many of this genre, yet he retains his own style, relaxed, uncomplicated and supportive.

Maurice Gavan, Clarinet & Piano Maurice recently returned to clarinet after many years leading his own quartet on piano. His own clarinet style uses the full range of the instrument and blends well with Bill Smith's forceful delivery. He has a sensitive feel for ballads on both instruments and a natural exuberance when the band turns on the heat.

Reg Kenworthy, Double Bass Known as the 'Admiral' for obscure reasons, Reg has under his belt 20 odd years with the famous Saints Jazz Band, including sessions with Louis Armstrong. His seniority in the band is paralleled only by his magnificent ancient German double-bass which he plays and tends with loving care. Molly Maginty 

SIDE A (1). EXACTLY LIKE YOU (J McHugh) Pub: Shapiro Bernstein USA Vocal: Bill Smith (2). OSTRICH WALK (Rocca/Shields) Pub: IMP (3). I'M IN THE MARKET FOR YOU (Hanky) Pub: C&C (4). MISSISSIPPI MUD (Barris/William Gillock) Pub: IMP Vocal: Mat rice Govan, Bill Smith, Mike Pembroke (5). SINGING THE BLUES (Conrad/ Russel J Robinson/Lewis/Young) Pub: IMP (6). DAVENPORT BLUES (Bix Beiderbeke) Pub: IMP Piano: Maurice Gavan Cornet: Bill Smith (7). BUDDY'S HABITS (Straight/Netson) Pub: IMP

SIDE B (1). I'M CRAZY ABOUT MY BABY (Waller; Pub: Edwin H Morris Vocal: Mike Pembroke (2). DARDANELLA (Fred Fisher/Bernard.: Elix/ Jimmy Black) Pub: IMP (3). SUGAR (Pinkard Maceo/ Mitchell Sidney/Alexander Edna) Pub: IMP Piano: Maurice Gavan Cornet: Bill Smith (4). I DOUBLE DARE YOU (Terri Shand/ Jimmy _Eaton) Pub: IMP Vocal: Bill Smith (5). SOMEDAY SWEETHEART (John & Benjamin Spikes) Pub: IMP (6). MANDY MAKE UP YOUR MIND (Meyer/ Johnston/Clarke/Turk) (7). CE MONS'EUR QUI PARLE (Bechet) Pub: Pierson Paris (8). SLEEPY TIME DOWN SOUTH (René Muse) 

The Smoky City are grateful to the following friends for the production of this cassette: Recording Stan Bowman Graphic Design Bob Brown Research Blackburn Music Library Sleeve Notes Molly Maginty Thanks also to Bernard Callaghan and the staff of Eagley Sports and Social Club, Bolton for use of facilities. Distribution - Tel. 0161 303 7553 / 01254 247405 

THE SMOKY CITY JAZZ BAND - Maintaining a proud 30 year tradition of supplying hot, driving and exciting jazz, the recently reformed Smoky City can be heard here enjoying themselves playing a selection of numbers that have helped to make this popular northern band return again and again to jazz clubs and venues all over the country. Their style suggests influences of Muggsy Spanier and Alex Welch, but the diversity of material here shows a band that has its own sound, style and swing - from the slow ballads to the up-tempo stompers. This is a band unconstrained by 'trod' or 'modern' whims - it takes tunes of value from both camps and gives them the Smoky treatment with joyous results, Solos are short and neatly supported by riffs and backings, Whilst there are some involved head arrangements the spontaneity and happy feel of this band comes through to listener and jazz audience alike. The recording session took place on Sunday morning and as well as having to get over a steamy stomping Saturday night, the band had to recover from the shock of seeing each other in the daylight! it is for the listener to decide if they recovered sufficiently to sound exactly like the Smoky City. I think they did! - Molly Maginty

 

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