by Bert Thompson
NEW BLACK EAGLE JAZZ BAND—THE 1987 TREEBEEK CONCERT (OWN
LABEL: BE[LECD]4006). Playing time: 71m. 55s.
At a Georgia Camp Meeting; Alligator Crawl; Ory’s Creole Trombone; Noel’s Song;
Should I Reveal; Harlem Fuss; Lead Me Saviour; Memories of You; Haarlem Bound;
Someday Sweetheart; Put ’em Down Blues; Purple Rose of Cairo.
Recorded at The Casino, Treebeek, Holland, on October 30, 1987.
Personnel: Tony Pringle, cornet, leader; Billy Novick, clarinet, soprano, alto sax; Stan
Vincent, trombone; Bo b Pilsbury, piano; Peter Bullis, banjo, manager; C. H. “Pam”
Pameijer, drums; Eli Newberger, tuba.
This is the sixth 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 four tracks on this CD initially comprised one side of an LP (Feel the Jazz,
vol. 22, RCS 598) issued jointly with the Circus Square Jazz Band, the latter supplying
the other side. Then eight additional tracks were added to these four by the New
Black Eagles and issued as a tape cassette, and these twelve tracks in turn make up this
Up first is At a Georgia Camp Meeting, a jaunty cakewalk by Kerry Mills, and it ends
with a comparative rarity for the band—a four-bar drum tag by Pameijer, and a very
tasty one at that with no explosions or cymbal crashes. Following that is Waller’s
Alligator Crawl, which I cannot recall having heard done by a band other than the Bay
City Jazz Band (later in 2003), as opposed to the more usual piano solo. Taken here at
a sensible tempo, it comes off very well, consisting mainly of solos leading up to a half-
time ensemble coda. The third track, Ory’s Creole Trombone, is not just a trombone
feature as might be expected but is spread around the front line for the lead and
handled quite deftly by all. Noel’s Song, a Pringle original, is a mournful 32-bar
blues, memorializing the late trombonist of the Circus Square Jazz Band and good
friend of the New Black Eagles who was killed in a car crash the previous year.
The tempo is picked up on Should I Reveal. Once again Newberger’s breathing
technique is nothing short of astonishing and coupled with the group’s careful
attention to dynamics results in a fine interpretation. The up tempo is carried on in
the next track, Harlem Fuss (often misnamed Minor Drag), Pilsbury’s solo being
followed by muted solos by Pringle and Vincent. Newberger’s backing is again
something to marvel at. The hymn which follows, Lead Me Saviour is given a
thoughtful interpretation, being for the most part played by the ensemble. After a
brief piano introduction by Pilsbury, Newberger on tuba takes over and, accompanied
by piano with Pameijer’s brushwork in the background, explores almost the entire
range of his instrument.
Harlem Bound is nicely framed by the front line plus tuba, the close coming almost as
a surprise. In between, of course, there is some fine ensemble work. The ensuing
track, Someday Sweetheart, is taken at a very slow tempo, featuring tuba accompanied
by Bullis on banjo after the intro before the ensemble again takes over, thus providing
a nice contrast of textures. At a little over nine minutes, the perky Put ‘em Down Blues
is the longest track on the album. It is not a tune in many bands’ repertoires. While
the Eagles give it a good reading, including a nice chorus with a cornet and banjo duo
by itself, I can’t say I was particularly taken with the tune itself. Wrapping things up
is the band’s usual “sign-off’ song, Purple Rose of Cairo, Pringle acknowledging each
player in turn.
This is another album that is well worth having, and I would imagine most New Black
Eagles fans will want to get it if they haven’t already done so. According to the band,
ordering information is as follows:
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.