|NEW BLACK EAGLE JAZZ BAND—AT SYMPHONY HALL • 10TH
ANNIVERSARY CONCERT (OWN LABEL: BE[LECD]4003). Playing time: 68m. 48s.
Buddy’s Habit (a); Proctology (b); She’s Crying for Me (a); Polka Dots and
Moonbeams (c); Nuages (d); Shake It and Break It (e); Grandpa’s Spells (f); Creepy
Feeling (g); Bogalusa Strut (h); Apex Blues (i); Old Rugged Cross (h); Sweetie Dear
Recorded live at Symphony Hall, Boston, Mass. on Oct. 2, 1981.
a) Tony Pringle, cornet, leader; Stan Vincent, trombone; Brian Ogilvie, reeds; Bob
Pilsbury, piano; Eli Newberger, tuba; Peter Bullis, banjo; C. H. “Pam” Pameijer,
b) Terry Waldo, piano.
c) Dick Wetmore, violin; Don Kenney, bass; Newberger, tuba; Bob Pilsbury, piano;
C. H. “Pam” Pameijer, drums.
d) Dick Wetmore, violin; Brian Ogilvie, tenor sax; Don Kenney, bass; Peter Bullis,
banjo; Bob Pilsbury, piano; C. H. “Pam” Pameijer, drums.
e) As (a) except Butch Thompson on clarinet and Brian Ogilvie on soprano sax.
f) As (a) except Butch Thompson replaces Bob Pilsbury on piano.
g) Butch Thompson, piano.
h) As (a) except Butch Thompson on clarinet and Brian Ogilvie on tenor sax.
i) Butch Thompson, clarinet; Brian Ogilvie, clarinet; Terry Waldo, piano; Don
Kenney, bass; Peter Bullis, banjo; C. H. “Pam” Pameijer, drums.
This is the third in a series of fourteen limited edition CD’s, reissuing material by
the band that previously appeared on LP’s—mainly on their own label but also on a
few other small labels, such as Philo, Philips, and Dirty Shame—and on cassette
tapes. Some of these cassettes were issued simultaneously with the LP’s but also
contained additional tracks. Other cassettes with different material were issued in
that format only. When the company that produced the cassettes went out of
business, the digital masters were returned to the band. These form the basis of
most of the material on this CD set.
The first tune of the evening’s celebration of the band’s 10th anniversary was a
jaunty, largely ensemble presentation of Buddy’s Habit, with Brian Ogilvie’s fluid,
supple clarinet featured on the initial break sequence and then again in a solo and
in backing Pringle’s solo. Crafty dynamics let us hear Newberger’s ascending and
descending runs of four-to-the-bar notes, his circular breathing technique allowing
him to defy the laws of breathing. It is a bravura performance that gets the party off
to a rousing start, as one can hear from the applause of the two thousand or so in
Four other tunes are performed by the “regular” band. Bullis provides a solid
anchor in She’s Crying for Me along with Pilsbury on piano, providing a base on
which the front line can engage in several effervescent ensemble explorations,
further enhanced by Pameijer’s gentle woodblocks ministrations. The next,
Bogalusa Strut, conjures up reminders of the Sam Morgan band which gave it
immortality, although the New Black Eagles here play it just a bit faster than did the
Morgan group. On this track Ogilvie switches to tenor sax and Thompson plays
clarinet, demonstrating his facility on that horn.
Another track with the same personnel is Old Rugged Cross. It is rather
unremarkable, consisting of a series of solos, the most interesting being Pilsbury’s
where the rest of the rhythm section drops out for several bars and, later, a sequence
where the tuba and tenor trade two’s. This track is the longest in the set, coming in
at almost ten minutes. The last, Sweetie Dear, which ends the CD, is taken at a
Although being a rousing closer for the CD, it was not the final number of the
concert. That belonged to Shake It and Break It, another cooker which featured
Butch Thompson on clarinet and Brian Ogilvie on soprano sax. At its conclusion,
the giant American flag dropped down from above the stage, just as it did to end the
Stars and Stripes Forever when played by the Boston Pops Orchestra. However, on
the CD Shake It and Break It is placed in the middle of the tune list for some reason.
Invited by the band to help mark the occasion were several guests who either joined
the rest of the band or most of its rhythm section on some numbers. Two of them,
Terry Waldo and Butch Thompson, were featured in solo performances on piano.
The former played his own composition, Proctology, which, with its ragtime feel
and percussive effects as well as its cunning breaks, displays well Waldo’s talents,
especially for musical comedy. (And we won’t get into the significance of the tune’s
The other pianist is Thompson, who has long been a devotee of Jelly Roll Morton
and selected a seldom-heard Morton tune, Creepy Feeling, for his solo. Pervading it
is one of Morton’s favored rhythms, the habanera, and along the way it features the
hanging breaks, another Morton device. Thompson’s technique is sure and he has
no difficulty whatever in providing a performance of which I am sure Mr. Jelly
would have approved. Thompson also replaces Pilsbury on piano on one track
here, Grandpa’s Spells, another Morton composition, and has no trouble executing
the various runs that abound in that tune.
Although most bands do not employ a violin these days, it was an instrument
included in many of the early jazz bands which included musicians such as A. J.
Piron, Manuel Minetta, and Peter Bocage, and a little later Stuff Smith and Joe
Venuti, to mention just a few. Here Dick Wetmore plays violin, joined by Don
Kenney on bass and three of the band’s back line—Newberger, Pilsbury, and
Pameijer—on Polka Dots and Moonbeams, which opens with Newberger taking
the lead, then being joined by Wetmore on the bridge. The next chorus is a solo by
Wetmore, plucking the strings on his violin so that it sounds extraordinarily like a
guitar, following which the lead is traded back and forth, all in all making for a
satisfying change of pace, as does Nuages, played by the same group, with the
addition of Ogilvie on tenor sax.
This CD provides enough to make one wish he or she could have been at the
concert that evening, because it goes without saying that there was much more that
could not be included here. According to the band, ordering information is as
The 14 CD’s are a set only in that they represent 14 reissues of LPs and Cassettes
from the earlier days of the Black Eagles. We have not priced them as a set and have
typically sold them as individual items. You can find them by going to
To the right of the window you will see four lists - aisle 1, 2, 3 and 4. Click on aisle 2
and you will have an order form listing all 14 of the CDs.